Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Photographs

Gladiola
Gladiola

Green Rain Frog 
(This fellow lives in my watering can. Whenever I use it, he comes out.)
 Green Rain Frog

Green Anole in Black and White 
(I waited until the light caught his eye to take this shot.)
Green Anole in Black and White

-------------------------------
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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Conversation With God - Light


Clouds"God, it's dark in here. If I could just reach the switch ..."

"The light's already on, Suzanne."

"It is? Then why can't I see anything?"

"You're blocking the light."

"I am? How am I doing that?"

"Well, for starters you're standing too far off. Come closer."

"But God, if I come closer then You'll see my mistakes."

"What mistakes?"

"Well, you remember. The other day when I got so angry."

"You did? I'm sorry. I've forgotten."

"Oh. But we talked about it. I told you I ..."

"Did you ask me for forgiveness?"

"Yes."Sunset Rainbow

"No wonder I don't remember. Here, take my hand. I'll guide you."

"Gee, this is great. I think I can see you now. But what's that huge shadow?"

"That's the object you placed between us."

"Wow. I did that?"

"Yes."

"How do I move it? It's awfully heavy."

"Here, I'll do it. There, how's that?"

"That's perfect! Wow, God, it's so much nicer up here - quiet and peaceful. Hey, look! I can see my feet now!"

"Why don't you stand here by Me from now on? I like to look at you."

"Great idea. Thanks, God. You're the best."

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1Jn 1:5)

-------------------------------
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, April 22, 2012

Sunday Photographs

Our resident Northern Mockingbird pair have successfully raised a pair of chicks. Once they fledged (left the nest) they took up in the bushes along the backside of our house. It was fun (and at times annoying) to hear them "peep" all day long, waiting for Mom or Dad to bring food. However, they grow fast as they are flying well now and better able to feed themselves.

Northern Mockingbird Fledgling

There are also several flowers blossoming in the garden: another gladiola, a yellow daylily, a white and pink amaryllis, and some blue salvia are this week's feature.

Gladiola

Daylily

Amaryllis

Blue Salvia

-------------------------------
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, April 17, 2012

His Purpose


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJ)
This is one of the most often misquoted verses in the Bible. People typically use it as a justification for anything bad that happens in their lives. However, it is not an across-the-board blanket excuse for God to bring evil on you.

"Well, I have the flu, but 'all things work together for good.'"
"Well, I lost my job, but 'all things work together for good."

Instead, to fully understand this verse, you need to do two very important things.
  • Do a study on WHO God is.
  • Read the entire chapter.
Now, I could go on at length about WHO God is. The Bible if full of descriptions. He is love. He is peace. He is abundance. This alone prevents me from believing it means what everybody says it means. But by doing the second step, I can see a great deal about WHO He is just in this one chapter of Romans.

The first 14 verses talk about not walking after the flesh but after the Spirit. What does this mean? Well, 1 Thessalonians 5:23 refers to the spirit, soul, and body. Man is a spirit with a soul who lives in a body. The Bible plainly says God is spirit and man must worship Him in spirit. (Jn 4:24) And when Christ enters the heart (a word referring to the spirit man) of someone at salvation, He creates a new spirit man. It is not a refurbished unit, but a brand new one. (2Co 5:17) So it is with this new spirit we worship God and pray to God.

Our flesh and our soul, however, remain the same. Romans 12:2 talks about "renewing the mind." The mind, which is part of the soul, is renewed through meditation on God's Word. This is how we get things into our spirit man. We are a fleshly people. We live on earth and to function here we must function through our body and with our mind. When I take a piece of God's Word - for instance when I was full of fear, I meditated all day on Scriptures about peace. I quoted them over and over. Do you know what happened? The more I spoke about God's peace, the more I believe it, the more I knew God's peace was mine, and the better I felt.

This is NOT positive thinking. This is putting the power behind God's Word to work in your life. The Word of God isn't just words on the page. That is the mistake many make. I made that mistake myself. It is how I got myself into the mess I was in. No, each Word of God is a container of the power that raised Christ from the dead.

"WHAT?," you say.


But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

Ah! We are back to Romans 8. You thought I was lost. :-)

How can this be? How can the very Holy Spirit, the power of God, that raised up Jesus dwell in me? And furthermore, what will it do to me when it's dwelling in there? It quickens! It brings life!

We also see this in Ephesians.


Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) (Ephesians 2:5)

We are saved and filled with enough power and life to even quicken our mortal bodies.

So what does it mean in verse 12 of Romans 8 when it says by living in the flesh we will die? It means that outside of God, living outside of His commandments of love and purity, operating outside of His rules about how we treat other human beings, is walking outside of His life-giving power. It is a choice we make. We can walk in our flesh and ignore God, or we can walk in the Spirit, hand in hand with God.

There are more hints at God's personality in Romans 8. Verse 18 refers to the glory revealed in us. Verse 21 says "glorious liberty." Verse 24 and 25 talk about hope. Then in verse 26, we begin to have a key about what the "things" are in verse 28. These two verses, 27 and 28 are talking about prayer. Prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit, following His leading, listening to Him who IS God, who knows the mind of God, and prays the will of God for us, brings God's purpose to pass in our lives. It brings, verse 28, GOOD to our lives.

Was that flu good? Was not paying your bills good?

"But," you say, "Look at what I learned through that."

Sure, you did. What I learned from panic attacks was I hate fear. Was, I need God in my life. Was, I need people praying for me. Was, if I'd have kept my act together in the first place I could have skipped the entire thing. That was NOT God's will for me. Nor was it for my GOOD.

"But I'm still not sure you have that verse interpreted correctly."

Then read the end of the chapter. Don't take my word for it.


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is the true heart of the Father. That is what God wants for you. He is with you, holding your hand, and will walk with you every step of the way. You are a conqueror surrounded by the love of God and the power that raised Christ from the dead.

-------------------------------
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, April 15, 2012

Sunday Photographs

I have only two new photographs this week. But I have three sightings. Monday and Tuesday, I saw a barred owl at my parents' house. Of course, I didn't have a camera. And of course, he/she sat there only feet away and posed.

Thursday night, my daughter and I saw a bunny rabbit (Swamp Rabbit) at PSC as we were leaving.

Also, three times this week I saw a hummingbird. I am glad to see they have returned to my yard. Twice it was on the plumbago by our back door and once on the Mexican sage to the left of the door. I did try for a photograph but failed. The photograph below was from last year. The flower is Mexican Sunflower.

Female Ruby-throat Hummingbird

What I did capture this week was a beautiful sunrise.
Sunrise

One of my gladiolas bloomed. The warm weather over the winter months confused one of them and it tried to bloom in December only to get caught by the only freeze we had. I am glad to see one waited for spring.
Gladiola

We could definitely use some rain. I am tired of dragging out the water hose. 'Til next week!

-------------------------------
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, April 9, 2012

I'm Ready For Easter

I'm ready for Easter now. What? It was yesterday?

A day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes.

I don't know why the significance of this holiday didn't hit me until this morning. Perhaps it was all the food. Perhaps it was that I had to work during the service and so couldn't sit and drink it all in. Whatever the reason, it took two things crossing my screen today for it to finally sink in, and I wanted to share them with you.

The first is a post by one of my favorite writers, Lori Roeleveld. Now, she and I have not met, but so many times in reading her posts, do I find a significant spiritual truth. Her voice speaks again to my heart this Easter Monday. The resurrection matters.

"If I worship someone, He’d better be able to walk on water." - Lori Roeleveld, from her blog, Does It Really Matter If Jesus Rose From The Grave?

My other revelation came from a song sung by Russ Taff when he was with the Imperials. This recording of "Praise The Lord" from 1979 speaks the truth.

When you're up against a struggle

That shatters all your dreams

And your hope's been cruelly crushed

By Satan's manifested scheme

And you feel the urge within you

To submit to earthly fears

Don't let the faith your standing in

Seem to disappear


I've lived those words. Every day that I can walk out my door confident and at peace, I know that praise makes a difference. Worship makes a difference. It is only through Christ's resurrection that I am free.

So now I'm ready. I'm ready to live Easter again for another year. After all, why do I have to limit it to one day? Christ is alive, today, tomorrow, and forevermore.

-------------------------------
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, April 8, 2012

Sunday Photographs

There are always flowers in the garden. This week, I found a few insects there as well. Enjoy!

Blanketflower and Bee
Blanketflower and Bee

American Lady Butterfly on Lantana
American Lady Butterfly on Lantana

Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly
Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Here is a photo of my favorite neighbor. :-)
My Neighbor :-)

The warm winter has the water lilies already blooming in the pond.
Water Lily

To see more views of my garden, visit my Webshots.
To see more views of the pond, visit my Webshots.


-------------------------------
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, April 3, 2012

Steve's Digicams - Ye Olde Raw Vs. JPG Debate

My April article is up at Steve's Digicams. In this one, I at last lay out my opinion on using RAW vs. JPG.

Ye Olde Raw Vs. JPG Debate

Be sure to check out my POTD every day this week at Peter West Carey Photography. Here's today's shot.

-------------------------------
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.

Guest Photographer Interview

I am privileged this week to be featured as guest photographer for Peter West Carey. Check out my interview and photo of the day.


-------------------------------
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, April 2, 2012

Food For Thought: Forgiveness

It's funny where I find things that inspire me. I got this revelation from a fiction story. Two characters were talking about forgiveness when one said to the other, "Would you rather be right or free?" That hit me like a thunderbolt for forgiveness is about freeing yourself, not the other person.

The character then went on with the thought that we must forgive without waiting for the other person to change. Wow! Isn't this the truth?

We want them to come to us. We want everything smoothed out first. When in reality we forgive not expecting anything to change at all, except in our own heart. The other person is not our responsibility. They are God's.

Food for thought today.

-------------------------------
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, April 1, 2012

Sunday Photographs

I'm shy on photographs this week. I only have a so-so shot of a sunrise from 3/31/2012. The color is nice, but the composition is lacking. Black trees are black trees, after all. So, I'm throwing in a couple of my favorite sunrises on the bottom. Enjoy!

3/31/2012
Sunrise

8/27/2011
Sunrise

4/8/2011
Sunrise

4/4/2009
Beautiful Sunrise

Sunrise Space Shuttle Launch 4/4/2010
Sunrise Space Shuttle Launch

To view more photographs of the sunrise from my front yard, visit My Webshots.

-------------------------------
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

The BIG CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY is coming! This means FREE BOOKS ! Both Kindle and epub versions will be provided. This is the ONLY place...