Sunday, August 14, 2011

Point of Focus

A Flower Holds The Sun

When I took this photograph, the sunrise wasn't really any different than other sunrises. The flowers in my garden were the same in appearance that they are at any other time of day, and I started to take the same old photograph I've taken from that vantage point. It would have been beautiful too. But instead, my gaze shifted to create an image a little out of the ordinary. I altered my focus from the sun, which was dominant in the sky, to the effect its light gave the flower. In photography, we call this "point of focus."

I read a statement the other day, which applies to this thought from outside of photography.


We must quit looking at our own abilities and failures and limitations and start looking to God.

In the same manner that I created this image of the flower holding the sun, the answer is in our point of focus. One author described it as the struggle of a wrestling match. He said his mind and heart "teeter back and forth between attitudes that are life-giving and those that bring darkness." He then went on to state, "On a given day, I can be filled with praise and gratitude one minute and then overcome by fear or anger in the next." *

Oh, how well I identify with those statements! We must get our eyes off of what we can or cannot do and place them on who God is.

I like the words of 1 Corinthians 4:6 from The Message Bible. It says in part, "It's important to look at things from God's point of view." Think about that - God's point of view! You see, the fact is, as long as we continue to look at the size of the problem, the problem will remain large, too big to handle. All we'll see is the sun, and we'll miss the beauty of the flower.

I say this all the time, but God is GREATER than your problem. He is BIGGER. He is HIGHER. He is MORE THAN ENOUGH. God's desire is for your success, so lift up your eyes and look at where your help comes from! (Ps 121:1-2) Look at WHO your help is! Change your point of focus.

Instead of failure, expect triumph. Expect God to DO what He said he would DO. You know, sometimes we can't see it. I have things facing me today that I can't explain, I can't fix, and I don't know what to do about. I have major decisions I must think about. Yet the solution is not mine to make. My job is to focus on God and let Him work the answer. He's strong enough and wise enough for that! (2Sam 22:30)

*"More Than Ordinary: Enjoying Life With God," by Doug Sherman

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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.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Butterflies

The butterflies have finally picked up for the summer. As the flowers in my garden begin to fade, they flit to and fro searching for nectar.

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

(Male and Female)
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies

To view more pictures of this species of butterflies, visit my Webshots album.

Female Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Dark Form)
Female Tiger Swallowtail, Dark Form

Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly
Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Horace's Duskywing Skipper
Horace's Duskywing Skipper

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

To view more photos from my garden this year, view my Webshots.

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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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Why Did You Doubt?


And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. (27) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (28) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. (29) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. (31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (32) And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. (Matthew 14:25-32)

This event in Peter's life came after he witnessed Jesus feed a multitude of people with five loaves and two fish. You'd think that would be enough to vanish any doubt! Yet when Peter began to sink, his faith faltered. My question is the same as Jesus' was, "Why?" What caused him to doubt?

People always say, "Well, he looked at the water and became afraid."

Yes, that's true. But read Jesus' own words in this paragraph. Jesus stated to Peter and the other disciples, "It is I, be not afraid." Here is the solution! With those words, Jesus gave Peter the only information he needed to walk on the water. It's not solely that the waves were so huge or the wind so strong. Instead, Peter had stopped looking at Jesus.

When I was at the bottom of life, crippled by fear, the one thing that lifted me up was keeping my eyes, my focus, on God. As I meditated on His greatness, my mind became renewed and my faith increased. Doubt came when I stopped looking. The apostle Paul stated this in Hebrews 12:2.


Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

Jesus is the beginning and ending (the answer) of our faith. To have a manifestation of what I am believing God for, to see its fulfillment, I must continue gazing at Him.

It's not enough to know not to doubt because doubts come everyday. Despite the marvelous things God has done for me, sometimes the doubts creep in and begin to choke me. (Mt 13:22;Mk 4:19) They come as I lose sight of who God really is, as I forget what Jesus did, as the Holy Spirit becomes distant to me. No, I must know what to do to prevent doubt.

I made this statement the other day.


Live as if God is reliable. Expect Him to be who He says He is.

This is the solution to doubt. Any time I am wavering, I need only look at my failed expectations of the Father. Did I really pray expecting Him to answer?

Christianity is a relationship. In any relationship, you spend time with the other person until you can choose for them. You can order their meal at a restaurant. You know what they will say at any given moment. I can answer for my spouse or my daughter in many situations because of the time I have spent with them. I know their likes and dislikes. I know when not to answer as well. I know when they'd say "no."

Our relationship with God, with the Father, with Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit, should be the same. There isn't a doubt in me that God loves me. I know it. You can't take that from me. I have no doubts that He wants only the best for me. At no point in time will He ever "put things on me" to teach me anything. That is not in His nature or His desires. I know because I've spent time in His presence - time in prayer, time in worship.

There is the answer to doubt.

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

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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.

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