Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Divine Spiritual Connection


But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10)

Adam's fear in Genesis 3:10 was a direct consequence, an effect of, the spiritual death God warned him of in Genesis 2:17. Before that, Adam had never felt fear. He'd only known complete unity with God.

We know this because God created man "in His own likeness," (Ge 1:26) designing him to function in the same manner He (God) functioned. He then blessed man and gave him authority over the earth. Ultimately, He declared him to be "good." (Ge 1:28, 29, 31) Adam had everything he needed. God had provided it all. Nowhere in that process was fear.

Yet when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they lost their unity with God, and immediately fear entered in.

No God. Know fear.
Know God. No fear.

Fear was a result of Adam's disconnection with God's presence, and that hasn't changed. Whenever God becomes second place in my life, whenever I disconnect from Him, I find myself afraid.

However, Jesus in John 17 prayed for our final solution to fear.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:20-23)

The answer to fear, the way to rid yourself of it once and for all, lies in restoring a divine spiritual connection with a loving, omnipotent God.

How do we do reunite with God? Through repentance, through time spent praying in the Holy Spirit, and through worship. Worship lifts God into the position He's supposed to have - as our ultimate Source. It places us in proper balance. It also reconnects us to the power supply of His Spirit. I walked out from under fear by keeping myself in God's Presence. In God's Presence, I found peace and joy.

The bigger God is in you, the smaller the fear will become.

Additional reading: 1 John 4:16,18; Galatians 5:6

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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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Book Reviews Help Your Writing

I was blessed to write an article for Tracy Ruckman's blog entitled, "How Book Reviews Help Your Writing," which she published over a two-day period.

The idea for this article came to me after writing a series of book reviews on the web. I realized the same principles I apply to writing the review for someone else's book, judging what made it good or bad, would greatly help me write my own. As I do in photography, I asked myself several questions, using the format for a book as a helpful clue.

Below are both links. I trust you will find it informative.


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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, January 23, 2012

Have Confidence

For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Proverbs 3:26)

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

I'd like to share with you a thought that came to me while doing my morning Bible study. Gloria Copeland shared a statement I have heard spoken many times, but the revelation of it finally hit my spirit man.

She said:

Because God responds to faith. Our faith, not our need, is what causes Him to act on our behalf.

Now, I confess this idea used to bother me - the thought that God would ignore our need. However today, I see it in an entirely different light, and it was because of her next comment.

If we only serve God half-heartedly, then we will not have confidence in Him to deliver us from trouble. When danger surrounds us, instead of being filled with faith, we'll find ourselves paralyzed with fear.

The problem is not that God is turning His back on my need. This goes against Scripture. Instead, God is full of compassion and mercy. (Psalm 86:15) His greatest desire is to meet our need.

No, the problem is on our end. Think of something you want really bad. Say there's a piece of chocolate cake on the counter and it's yours and it's free. When will you be able to eat that cake? When you confidently walk over there and pick it up. As long as you remain on the couch whining about your lack of cake, it will remain on the counter.

This may seem like a silly analogy, but the same is true of whatever we need from God. God has already offered it to us. It's right there for the taking. There is freedom, peace, healing, eternal life. He saw our need already and provided the answer in advance. So why do we not believe its ours, walk over there, and take it? He's given it to us!

Fear will prevent you from going where God wants you to go, from receiving what God wants you to receive. This is why it is so vital to keep yourself confident in God. Remind yourself every single day of how wonderful He is, how great, how high, how mighty, and build your faith. Keep God bigger than the problem. Then walk right over and pick up the solution. It's yours, after all!

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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 19, 2012

Sandhill Cranes

Six Sandhill Cranes landed in my front yard this morning and proceeded to make quite a ruckus (good southern word, "ruckus"). Here are a few photos and a video.

You Tube


Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

To view more pictures visit 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.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why I Worship

I went to a concert last night, something I don't often do, of a local band whose members I met at my church. It reminded me of why I worship, and I so needed to be reminded.

This has been a not-so-good week for me. The stresses of work, home, and my daughter's schooling got to me. Truth is, I prepared for them to get to me. I knew last week what was coming up and I dreaded it. This only allowed it a foothold in my heart. And you know how that goes, then everything snowballs on you. Suddenly, it wasn't just the things I knew about, but all the other things I was unprepared for too.

Come Wednesday morning, with yet more tasks before me, I was completely wiped out. But I had promised my daughter we'd go to this concert, so we went.


I'm so glad we did. Sitting there in the presence of God, I saw it all again. I knew why worship was such a good thing for me, and I remembered. I remembered how it healed my heart during my struggle with fear, how it continues to heal me each day. I remembered that five minutes in God's presence does more to refresh me than five days off or five hours of extra sleep.

Funny thing is, God set me up for it. As these kids with such a heart for God worshiped and lifted Him up, I heard no heavenly voice, yet I knew what God wanted me to see. He wanted me to see that He, in effect, prepared that time and place for me in advance. You see, I know myself. Except for the fact that my daughter was told just two days ago that she needed to attend four concerts for one of her classes, my sheer exhaustion would have kept me home. I think God knew that too. He knows me, and He rearranged my life in such a way that I had to go. He knew what it would take to get me there. He also knew what it would do for my well being.

I feel today like a new person. Worship always does that for me. It is like words of the old song state, "In the light of His presence things grow strangely dim." No longer am I focused on my problems. Instead, my focus is how great God is - how much higher and broader and stronger He is than everything around me, anything I face. All the pressures of the present fall away and my heart regains the balance its supposed to have: where God is bigger and everything else is smaller.

I needed to worship last night, and my great and mighty God unbeknownst to me placed me where that was all I was there to do. Thanks God! For You are holy. You are worthy. You are more than enough...

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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 6, 2012

Steve's Digicams - Interpretation and Thought

My January 2012 article is online. In this article, I was honored to feature the work of landscape photographer, Ben Horne. If for no other reason than to see his work, be sure to check it out.


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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 1, 2012

God Is Good All The Time

I read a true story written by someone who had been through a terrible time in their life. I cried for them and was touched by their sorrow. But in the midst of their story, they said what I have heard so many say - that God wanted them to learn something from it.

Sigh.

To be entirely truthful, despite the platitudes they offered at the end - how they found healing from their grief through faith in Christ - I couldn't get past that one comment because it is so WRONG.

God Is Good All The Time

Let's settle it here. God is good all the time. Until you have placed the foundation of that in your heart, you will never be able to overcome through faith in Him whatever the devil throws your way. For there's the truth of it. The devil is the enemy. If it's bad, it came from him.

There are numerous proofs of this in the Bible. Jesus gave an example in his ministry. In it, He referred to Himself as the shepherd. Then He spoke about the purpose of the thief.


I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:9-11)

It seems pretty apparent that if He is the shepherd, come to give abundant life, then He cannot be the thief, come to steal. Anything or anyone that is stealing, killing, or destroying in your life, is the work of the thief - not God.

Jesus gives another example in the book of Luke. Here, He states that earthly parents, that'd be you and I, give their children GOOD gifts, therefore the heavenly Father gives GOOD gifts. You'd think that'd be clear enough. However, someone in the crowd then stands up and accuses Him of casting out devils using the devil's power.

I can just see Him shaking His head.


If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? (Luke 11:13-18)

Think for a minute. If every kingdom divided will fall, then God does NOT use the devil because that makes Him divided against Himself.

God Is Here To Heal

Jesus also told us what the power of God in our lives is called to do. Given we now know it does NOT steal, kill or destroy, because that is the department of the thief, and He is not divided against Himself to use any of those things against us, then what IS His purpose?

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18)

To preach. To heal. To deliver. To recover. To set at liberty. That about covers it.

So who is to blame when things go wrong in our lives?Well, I caution you against always saying, "The devil made me do it," because sometimes we do it of our own accord. Most know what I went through with my battle against fear. Do you know at no time did I blame that on God? I did learn something from it, but guess what I learned? I learned that God loved me - always - that God wanted me free - always - that God is bigger and stronger and higher than the devil. I learned I was wrong in the way I behaved, the way I spoke, the way I acted. I learned that fear isn't that big, only seems like it, and that through the power of repentance, a mighty, powerful, omnipotent God would sweep in give me complete repentance and heal me physically, mentally, and spiritually.

But I could have gotten all of that by listening to what I'd heard growing up. My mother taught it. My pastors preached it. The Bible in my lap said so. However, I didn't believe any of it. I did what I wanted to do and eventually paid the price for my sin. And that had nothing to do with God's will for me.

A Good God!

There was one statement in the story I read that DID stick with me. About midway through the book, the author asked, "Why don't we pray when things are going good?" There is a huge truth, and here is the answer. We pray when things are going good because we hunger and crave to spend time with the One who is only good and only desires to give good things to us. He is our Father and our best friend.

Sometimes our limited human knowledge prevents us from knowing the path of our feet. Sometimes we can't see God's plan and sometimes bad things happen. This is where faith steps in. No matter what I do or don't understand about the evil in the world, I know that I know that I know that it wasn't God's desire for me.

I like the words of Psalm 52:1, "The goodness of God endureth continually." That, my friend, sizes it up. God is truly good all the time. Do you believe it? I do!

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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.

A Note To My Readers

Dear Readers, I was in the path of Hurricane Irma. I still do not have power at home and so am living a bit like a refugee. I have ...