Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stand Still!


I learned that I had to stop running and stand still long enough to see what God would do for me if I let my faith in Him be larger than my fears. (Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyers)
When I read the above sentence during my daily devotions, it was as if God grabbed me by the shoulders, shook me, and insisted, "STAND STILL, Suzanne! STAND STILL!" At that moment, I realized how much time I have spent over the last few days "running."

I have been very open about my battle with fear (a battle that God wins, I might add). Well, despite all the things I have learned in the last 4 years, sometimes I still slip up and find myself running again. That's what fear does to your thinking. Your immediate thought pattern is to protect yourself, to escape from it. But victory is not found that way. Victory comes when we stop, stand, and face the problem.

In Exodus 14:13, Moses spoke a similar statement. He said, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD." I liken it to driving by a road sign along the highway. Sometimes, if you are driving too fast to read the sign, you miss what is written on it. Then you either have to double back or take an alternate route, which might not be the best way to get there.

We only truly see the power of God at work in our lives, when we stop moving. As long as we continue at our frantic pace, just like that road sign, we'll miss what God has for us. Isn't that what the Bible states in Ephesians 6:13?
Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground]. (AMP)
HAVING DONE ALL - STAND! It's our faith in God's power that ultimately wins the victory! We have only to stand still, in faith believing, and watch. (Ps 91:8)

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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, January 27, 2011

Book Promo Video

My new book, Fearless, is set to come out this February. Check out my promo video! I'm pretty excited about it.




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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, January 23, 2011

God's Voice

"God sometimes speaks to us in the voices of our children."
I was down in the dumps the other day...way down, and perhaps throwing a bit of a pity party when I got an email from my daughter. (Really it was a Facebook message, so don't think God can't use Facebook.)

Now I, like so many parents, often despair of understanding the teenage mind. There are just those times when my forty years and her seventeen aren't communicating. Oh, for the most part, we get along very well. I always say we are "joined at the hip," since homeschooling keeps us together day by day.

Yet as I sat there weeping, wishing life would treat me more fairly, there was this message in my inbox. It was a video, music by a band she wanted me to hear. (I try to always participate in her likes.) But what flowed out in the words of that song was at that moment exactly what I needed to hear. Over and over the song repeated, "He loves me. He loves me. Oh, how He loves me."

Now I was weeping, but for an entirely different reason.

"Thanks. I needed that," I replied, "I love you more than the entire world....Mom."

My daughter

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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, January 20, 2011

A Morning Walk

I went for a walk this morning.

The cold, wet grass fell under my feet; a brilliant blue sky arched above me.

A cloudy sky

The breeze spoke. It whispered the notes of breakfast-time birds. A male cardinal fluting his mating song; a pair of eastern bluebirds chirruping together.

The earth around me burgeoned with the promise of springtime. In its soil the gift of life, a time of seeds and flowers and bees.

At that moment, I saw it in my mind and walked on.

Toadflax

I walked beneath the gentle sun, its generous glow from the heights holding forth its ancient contract between heaven and earth. A young pine stretched pointed needles towards the heat.

I saw it in my mind again, and was still. Around me flowed the multitude of life. A million hidden insects or frogs or crawling things welcomed this day.

Green Wasp

There I stood in the midst of them, one, tiny part of a much grander thing. All of it set in motion at the edge of time with a single word - "BE!" And it was.

I went for a walk this morning. It was marvelous. It was amazing. It was glorious.


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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, January 19, 2011

Steve's Digicams Article - Compositional Elements-Lines

My January 2011 article is up at Steve's Digicams. Take a read!

Compositional Elements-Lines


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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, January 16, 2011

Night Photography

I am fascinated by the sky at night. Somehow it seems bigger and grander. Perhaps it is as much that you can't see anything else around you. Many a minute have I spent with my eyes focused on the stars, just marveling in wonder at it all.

Now and again, I break out the camera and attempt a night shot. I usually have more failures than successes. But now and again, my results surprise me. I took this first shot in my own yard. Truthfully, I chose to take it because the palm tree gave my camera something to focus on. However, the longer exposure gave the light breeze time to ruffle the tree's fronds. I think the results are rather romantic.

Palm Tree at Night

I took this next photograph while on vacation. The night was frigid and still when I ventured outdoors. I just love the green color of the house against the sky. It perfectly captures how I felt at that moment, small and unimportant.

The Mountain Sky at Night

The final photograph I wish to share was again taken in my own backyard. I call it "Ghost". In a bit of an experiment, I had my daughter light her face with her cell phone for about 5 seconds of a 30 second exposure. She then walked out of the image. The results are pretty cool!

Ghost

I do not pretend to be an expert. In fact, I am an early bird so far as bedtime is concerned. (I could not believe how many people asked me if I was going to stay up and photograph the recent lunar eclipse. Like duh! That was at 2 AM! What do you think?) But what shots I do take, I enjoy and more than that, if I don't take any at all. I'll still stand there my neck craned back, staring at the sky.

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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, January 12, 2011

Dry Spell

*This was original posted at Pix-N-Pens, November 5, 2009. I thought to post it because I've felt similar lately. I cannot tell you how many times I've gone outside, camera in hand, only to return with nothing to show for it. I remember one day I resorted to photographing my dog asleep in a puddle of sunshine, just to take a photograph. On another day, I found the flower below, blossoming out of season. Such is life, I suppose. It is as much the full times as the dry ones.

Blanket Flower

I admit it. There are times when I have lost all inspiration to take photographs. I pick up my camera only to feel like pitching it through the nearest window. I go outdoors and can't see anything I'd like to capture.

Every photographer goes through dry places, and lately, that is where I have been. The glories of spring have faded - vivacious flowers tumbling over each other in their search for the sun, multitudes of insects scrambling side by side for that sweet bit of nectar, the fluttering wings of handfuls of butterflies sweeping through the air.

American Lady Butterfly on Mustard Blossoms

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Instead, my garden looks rather natty. Faded and tattered Mexican sunflowers are holding up the last of their heads. The lantana and verbena have outstretched their boundaries. Summer vegetables - ripe red tomatoes, fuzzy green okra, and crisp green beans - are long gone.

It doesn't help that the weather is unseasonably hot for October. Oh, I know it IS Florida, and I DO love warm weather. But October is supposed to be fresh with crisp air swept in on an early cold front, comfortable breezes, and clear blue skies. Well, okay, so we do have the clear blue skies, at least it seems so today as I gaze out my window.

These photos taken one morning when it was 21 degrees Fahrenheit.
Click here to see more from the series.

My neighbor's field

Flatwoods plum branches

I know that the inspiration will come again. It always does. And I have learned when I find these dry places, just to ride them out. If I don't pick up my lens today, that is okay.

For me there will always be photographs. They press in from my past. They hold themselves in my future. In the present though, I will just forgive myself this lapse in time and wait.

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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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A LIVING Gospel

Crepe Myrtle Seeds

We've all heard the analogy of the seed before. Within each seed is the potential for a mighty harvest. And it's a good analogy. Yet without a true revelation of it, it becomes just so many words on the page. We read the Bible that way too. We tell its stories and memorize its verses, but without it meaning much to us at the time.

Revelation is a mighty thing. It's that moment when you unexpectedly - "AHA!" - see something you've read or heard many times before. You've read it, but now it's ALIVE. Now, you KNOW it!

The apostle Peter had a revelation. Jesus asked him, "Who am I?" It could be he'd never thought about that before. It could be, like myself, he lay awake at night thinking about it. Whatever it was, at that moment, all at once, Peter knew the answer.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt 16:16)
Again, here's a story we've read before. Sermons are preached around Jesus' words. But how much have you really thought about Peter's revelation? Here's someone who had walked and talked with Jesus. He'd seen the healings and the miracles. What made the difference between that and what he now SAW in his heart?

Suddenly, Jesus wasn't just his friend, his master, or even a guy he "hangs with". Jesus at that moment became the Christ; he became LIVING. He now was the Anointed One, full of power and glory.

Back, for a moment, to our analogy of the seed. Pick up any seed and examine it. It doesn't look like much, does it? But within that seed is LIFE. You can't see it when you're looking at it. You can't see it when you put it in the ground. Yet the LIFE is there.

So many words on the page...

This gospel we read is more than letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. It's more than a book we tote to church. It's greater than preachers, churches, and congregations. This word, just like that seed, is LIVING. It's ALIVE.

It's ALIVE when I get up in the morning. It LIVES when I go to work. When I pray, it's God's LIFE that answers. When I worship, it's His LIFE that descends. I call upon Him in times of need and He sends LIFE to me. Moment by moment, LIFE speaks to me, moves in me, and changes me.

Think about LIFE for a moment. Something living always lives; I don't have to be physically looking at it for it to be living. A seed planted is alive. Walk away and it continues to grow and change. But a book remains a book when you set it down. Leave it lying around, forget what you've read, it remains a book.

But God is ALIVE. God's Word is ALIVE. It's a LIVING gospel. Even when I stupidly ignore it, it continues to LIVE. Like a seed, it always contains the potential of LIFE. Given good ground, light and revelation, the water of prayer, it begins to do what it had the ability to do all along.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (Ps 139:7-10)
I cannot escape it. God's LIFE abides in me. God's LIFE is always, everywhere, and all the time.

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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

FREE to Email Subscribers This month's free book is "A Cowboy For A Lifetime". The deadline to sign up as an email su...