Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here's this week's 365 project photographs, plus a bonus. To view the entire set, visit my Photobucket album.

Also, have a Happy and Blessed Easter!



Day 83, Amaryllis
Day 83 photo 500-DSC_5690_zpsd02dde6d.jpg

Day 84, Bee on Fleabane Wildflowers
Day 84 photo 500-DSC_5717_zps2b22e8d5.jpg

Day 85, Catbird
Day 85 photo 500-DSC_5730_zpscfb31372.jpg

Day 86, Saltwater Fish
Day 86 photo 500-DSC_5739_zps159e5200.jpg

Day 87, White Ibis in Flight
Day 87 photo 500-DSC_5760_zps6aea5949.jpg

Day 88, Snapdragons
Day 88 photo 500-DSC_5800_zps38a7891a.jpg

Day 89, Monarch Butterfly
 photo 500-DSC_5819_zpse64de1f7.jpg

Bonus: Oak Leaves
Live Oak 3-25-2013 photo 500-DSC_5696_zps2c44f625.jpg

Swordtail Fern
 photo 500-DSC_5738_zpsaedaee0c.jpg

Ginger
Ginger, 3-28-2013 photo 500-DSC_5751_zps7f5eb5de.jpg

Yellow-Rumped Warbler (This bird was preening to watch the video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZntoGMIc9A)
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3-29-2013 photo 500-DSC_5785_zpsd4efb1e1.jpg


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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 28, 2013

Steve's Digicams - All The Things I'm Not

My article's online at Steve's Digicams. A blog about nothing and everything at the same time. Enjoy!



Water Oak


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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 27, 2013

Remembering


Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first Heaven and the first earth had disappeared and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride dressed in beauty for her husband. Then I heard a great voice from the throne crying, “See! The home of God is with men, and he will live among them. They shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death shall be no more, and never again shall there be sorrow or crying or pain. For all those former things are past and gone.” (Rev. 21:1-4 JB PHILLIPS)

I remember today my pastor, Shane Simmons, a man whose life greatly affected mine, a man loved by those who knew him, blessed by those who sat under his preaching, and mourned by those who look for the day they will see him again.




Listen to Pastor Shane singing, "I Know the Plans I Have for You."





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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 24, 2013

Sunday's Photographs

Here's this week's 365 Project photographs. To view the complete album, visit my Photobucket.

Day 76, Blue-eyed Grass
Day 76 photo 500-DSC_5611_zps43924780.jpg

Day 77, Green Anole
Day 77 photo 500-DSC_5621_zpsfa8e2a9f.jpg

Day 78, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Day 78 photo 500-DSC_5628_zps2f58e8fd.jpg

Day 79, Azalea
Day 79 photo 500-DSC_5641_zps9b76b2cf.jpg

Day 80, The makings of potato soup
Day 80 photo 500-DSC_5644_zps2de937f0.jpg

Day 81, Sunrise Clouds
Day 81 photo 500-DSC_5660_zps0bc125f0.jpg

Day 82, Bulbine
Day 82 photo 500-DSC_5674_zps76bd62f8.jpg



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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 20, 2013

He Loves You Anyway

I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas' kiss
But You love me anyway
See now I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night I still call out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

(You Love Me Anyway, Sidewalk Prophets)

I saw a hashtag the other day that disturbed me. For those of you who don't know what a hashtag is. It's a way to search for messages of the same topic from within Twitter or Google+. You type a pound sign followed by a word or phrase. There are thousands of them.

Well, typing in #godis, I was offered several suggestions. 

#godisgreat
#godislove
#godisnotnecessary

Wait. Really?

God isn't necessary? Oh, friend, how wrong you are. 

You may have written Him out of your life saying God is for Christians; God is for Protestants; God is for Catholics. But I don't need God. I have my education to fall back on. I have my money to believe in. I have my job, my spouse, my family, my talents.

What you don't know is He hasn't written you out of His. To God, you are necessary.

You are the reason He created the earth.
You are the reason He replenished the earth after the flood.
You are the reason He spoke to prophets hundreds of years before Jesus came.
You are the reason He sent Jesus to die.
You are the reason Jesus rose from the dead.
You are the reason Jesus ascended to the Father's right hand. 
He went to make intercession for you. For you!

You are the reason He sent the Holy Spirit. You are the reason He spoke to the apostle Paul. You are the reason through ages of time the best-selling book, the book that changes nations, peoples, kings, religions, and hearts is still the Bible.

You.

You may think He's not necessary. But that doesn't mean He'll turn His back on you. Even then, even when you've left Him behind, you've cut your own trail, turned down the broad road, drowned Him out with music, or television, or books. With video games, conferences, jobs. With drugs. With alcohol. Whatever it is you've placed between you and Him. He's still there. He's still calling. He's still saying, "I love you anyway."

I love you anyway. I love you. I love you. You.

Because you are necessary. For you are there before Him every day. Every minute. Every breath. He never sleeps because He's thinking about you, planning for you, waiting for you.

God is not a hashtag. 

God is real. God is love. God is salvation. God is healing. God is prosperity. God is peace. God is above all and in all and through all things. He has the answers you seek, the wisdom you need, the power to lift you up from where you are and put you somewhere you won't believe you'll be.

No social network can stop Him from loving you.
No government can stop Him from speaking to you.
No electronic device can replace what He is to you.
No entertainer can delight in you the way He does.
No friend like Him can make you happier.
No family member can supply for you what He has.

God is necessary. Think of how great that is should you choose to believe it.






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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 17, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here are this week's photographs.

Day 69, Sunrise
Day 69, 3-10-2013, Sunrise

Day 70, Squirrel
Day 70, 3-11-2013, Squirrel

Day 71, Rain
(Settings: 55-300mm Nikkor lens, manual focus, shutter priority, 1/13 F13, ISO 200)
Day 71, 3-12-2013, Rain (Settings:  Nikkor 55-300mm lens, manual focus, shutter priority 1/13 F13, ISO 200)

Day 72, Pink Honeysuckle
Day 72, 3-13-2013, Pink Honeysuckle

Day 73, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Day 73, 3-14-2013, Yellow-rumped warbler

Day 74, Wasp
Day 74, 3-15-2013, Wasp

Day 75, Stuffed Shells
Day 75, 3-16-2013, Stuffed Shells

To view the entire album of 365 photographs, visit my Photobucket album.

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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 16, 2013

Story Saturdays: A Miracle For Mari

In time for St. Patrick's Day, download Love & Redemption (The Florida Irish), Book #1, from Smashwords for only 99 cents. Use the coupon code: JC35J.

Curl up with an Irishman.

This excerpt comes from an upcoming young adult short story to be released in late November, A Miracle for Mari.  In this scene, Mari Tatum is talking to her boyfriend, Shay McNab, about the Christmas Play they will both be in and thoughts of the future. But what Shay doesn't know is, fatherhood will come sooner than he's ever planned. 

A fall from grace. A miracle of life. A gift of forgiveness. 

Mari Tatum has a secret. Forced to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the church play, she finds herself working alongside Shay McNab, the very boy she’s keeping a secret from. 
Yet in the story of Christ’s birth, she finds that in God’s hands her fall from grace can become a miracle.

A Christian novella dealing with teen pregnancy and the true meaning of the season.
 
EXCERPT: 

       The low light in the barn and the breeze that blew through chilled the air inside considerably. Mari leaned over the stall door, stretching her fingers for the horse’s head. Bitsy looked miserable, her sides distended, her head drooped. She twitched and her skin flexed and pulled.
Mari’s mind returned to the figurine – Mary, great with child, on her way to Bethlehem. What was she thinking that day? Of the pending birth? Of the care of her husband? Of the fulfillment of the angel’s words?
Maybe she wasn’t thinking anything at all. Maybe instead she pondered the length of the journey and her own discomfort. Much like the horse.
“Can I touch her?” Mari asked.
She withdrew so Shay could open the stall door. The horse snorted at her presence and swiveled her ears. Mari stroked her rounded belly. “My mother said it was all worth it.”
She made the statement without turning around, hearing Shay’s boots scratch over the floor. “Having me, I mean,” she added.
Still he didn’t speak.
“I asked her only a couple days ago. I was looking at some photographs. Me when I was born, thinking, you know about Mary.” She inhaled a shaky breath, her nerves tingling. “You ever think about it? Being a father?”
She braved a glance then. He was staring at her, his gentle blue eyes bright in the darkness.
“No. Well, maybe a little,” he said.
“Y-you don’t object to having children. Do you?”
Her gaze lit on his hands curved over the top of the door, and she tried to picture him holding a baby. His baby.
He slouched on one hip. “No. Always figured I would … someday. Why?”
She looked back at the horse and laid her cheek against her warm furred shoulder. “Just wondering. The play and all, you know.”
The horse nuzzled her and tiny hairs on her snout tickled the underside of Mari’s arm.
“What you waiting on, girl?” she asked. A flash of life moved beneath Mari’s palm, and she stilled her hand, savoring the thump and strike.
Knowledge grew in her heart. That was what Mary thought about. Not the journey nor the dangers, not her discomfort at the load she carried, but contentment in the miracle of pending motherhood. That she, a girl from a small town, would deliver a child.
A child with a future. The Savior of the world.
Unthinking, Mari looked down at herself and a picture formed. She would be a mother; Shay would be a father. This was their child. Theirs.
Her fingers numbed, and she turned her head, finding his gaze.
That didn’t excuse what they’d done. Things would still be difficult. She still had to figure out how to tell him, and how to tell her parents.  Feelings would be hurt and words said; they had a price to pay. Their story wasn’t Mary and Joseph’s.
Yet when all was said and done, for the miracle growing inside her, it might be worth it.

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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 13, 2013

God of Trivial Things

My daughter lost her earring the other day. Problem was she didn't realize it until we'd gone all over town and were standing in the middle of Walmart.

It wasn't a valuable earring. But she liked it, and so instantly my mom-side kicked in. You know, the side that is tormented over something trivial just because it matters to her.

So I did what moms do, I said we'd look for it, and I traipsed all over the store backtracking our footsteps, staring at the dirty tile, and getting more than a few odd looks. Praying a silent prayer I'd find it.

To no avail. That was, after all, the third place we'd been that day. It could be anywhere. It could even be in the car.

But it wasn't.

The earring was simply gone. She joked about giving the remaining one to her friend as a nose piercing. I said, "We could always buy another pair," and then we both forgot.

Today I was vacuuming. Back and forth. Back and forth. And I spotted something shiny and round on the carpet in the doorway to her bedroom. Yep. You guessed it. The earring. Right there under our noses the entire time.

I had a revelation.

Something so small, so minor, and yet finding it reminded me that God cares even about the little things in our lives. The things we think He doesn't notice.

So often we come to Him with only our large requests. And those are important. God wants you to pay your bills. He wants you to walk in health. He wants to be your Source and Provider. But He also wants you to find your earring. 

He is, after all, a parent.

Why then, if you, evil as you are, know well enough how to give your children what is good for them, is not your Father in heaven much more ready to give wholesome gifts to those who ask him? (Mt 7:11 Knox)

God is more than ready. 

He knew where that earring was all along. He knew when I prayed we'd find it while walking across the store. He knew when my daughter went in and out of her room for two days and somehow didn't step on it. He knew when I took out the vacuum. And He knew that I was the last person in my household who would spot anything that small on the ground.

Yet there it was. He cared enough to help me find it.

Thanks, God.



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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 10, 2013

Sunday Photographs

Here's this weeks 365 Project Photos. Also, I have a handful of photos taken at the Circle B Bar Reserve this week. They can be viewed at Photobucket.

The entire album of 365 Photos can also be viewed at Photobucket.


Day 62, False Dandelion
Day 62, 3-3-2013, False Dandelion

Day 63, Frost
Day 63, 3-4-2013, Frost on Toadflax

Day 64, Yellow-rumped Warbler
Day 64, 3-5-2013 Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler

65, Yellow Tang
Day 65, 3-6-2013, Yellow Tang

66, Blue Flag Iris
Day 66, 3-7-2013 Blue Flag Iris

67, Metal Chicken
Day 67, 3-8-2013 Metal Chicken

68, Eastern Bluebird
Day 68, 3-9-2013 Eastern Bluebird



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Suzanne D. Williams  
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, March 9, 2013

Story Saturdays: The Covering

LOVE & REDEMPTION is now $1.99 at Amazon for one week only, then the price goes up! So download your copy and spend some time with a handsome Irishman. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Today's excerpt comes from one of the most powerful Christian fiction books I've ever read. Truthfully, it changed me, as a writer and as a Christian.

The Covering by Dana Pratola is a 5-Star rated novel telling the story of one girl's prayers for the troubled soul of one man bent on destruction. $4.99 at Amazon.

Romance. Faith. The power of God over demonic influence.

What do a woman of faith and a heathen biker have in common? The devil, of course.

Tessa is moved to intercede for a man she's never met. When they do meet, she's stunned. Gunnar is gorgeous, charismatic, and driven. He's also hostile, self-destructive, and an unbeliever...and she's drawn to him like no other. The temptation she feels is as dangerous as it is alluring. She wants to stay away, but God has other plans. He reveals the devil's intent to destroy Gunnar, and commissions Tessa to keep him covered in prayer. Can she rely on God to keep her from falling...in love, and into temptation? Or will the devil claim them both?



The Covering
EXCERPT: 
     With a dust rag tucked into the belt loop of her trim khaki slacks, Tessa pushed and pulled the heavy vacuum across the living room rug. She’d called Connie to apologize, telling her she slept in because she was praying into the wee hours. True, but again, only partially. She couldn’t tell Connie what happened with Gunnar. She’d rehashed it a dozen times, and it still made no sense.
The sooner she moved the better, but she wouldn’t settle for any of the former crime scenes Dominic suggested, and the realtor who phoned earlier to tell her a new house had been listed, called back two hours later to say it was sold.
On the brighter side, Gunnar couldn’t stick around indefinitely.
She turned. Startled to find him only steps away, she screamed and fumbled for the off switch.
It might be funny, she thought, as she wound the cord around her finger to keep her hands busy, how her resolve to face him had been so fierce when barricaded in her room, but melted away when he came into view. It might be, if it happened to someone else.
Tessa concluded it was due at least in part to his appearance. If he didn’t go out of his way to look so threatening, to be so muscular and, and, tattooed, her heart wouldn’t be bouncing off her ribcage.
She bit the inside of her cheek. He wore jeans and a gray Tshirt with a decal of a woman draped over the hood of a sports car. He smelled of clean laundry and soap. His hair was growing in, one black millimeter at a time and judging by the shadows under his eyes he hadn’t slept. Somehow, he presented a less dangerous figure. And a more appealing one.
Shocked by the direction of her thinking, she pulled the cord tighter, and tried to concentrate on the blood rushing to her fingertip while she waited for him to speak.
“I had nowhere else to go last night,” Gunnar told her. His voice was brusque, but edged with guilt.
Something in Tessa, purely female and having nothing whatsoever to do with spiritual matters, relished it. He met her gaze briefly, the muscle in his jaw clenching and unclenching.
“I waited for the cops but they didn’t show,” he said.
Tessa’s finger began to throb, and she released the electrical cord. “I didn’t call them.” Her voice was steady despite the nerves.
“You didn’t tell Dom, either. Why?”
Several answers came to mind but she settled on, “I just didn’t.”
When he came forward, she backed away. Gunnar froze, watching her carefully. The next time he moved it was to take a step backward. “Why, Tessa?”
“I didn’t want to answer a bunch of questions,” she answered with a halftruth.
Gunnar’s eyes narrowed. “You’re lying.” When she opened her mouth to deny it, he raised an accusing finger. “Unless you’re one of those chicks who likes to get pushed around by men.”
Her temper rose, but then his gaze sharpened on hers, giving her reason to believe he was trying to make her angry enough to tell him the truth.
She decided to do just that. He wasn’t going to like it. “I think at first I went in shock.”
The prompting gleam in his eye vanished, replaced by marked discomfort.
“Then I started to get mad…” His brows knit together. “And then I prayed for you.”
Gunnar looked as though she’d just told him he was on fire. “Why?” he demanded.
“Because you need it.”
He hooked his thumbs in his front pockets and shifted from one foot to the other. Flabbergasted was one way to describe him. Nervous was another. Because both were so unusual for him, Tessa found it more than a little difficult to keep the mirth from her tone.
“I’m sorry if it bothers you,” she said, unplugging the vacuum. “If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t want to.”
“You’re nuts.”
This time when he came closer, she didn’t back away, but kept a close eye on his movements.
“You’re a Christian.” He pronounced it like one of his colorful expletives.
She lifted her chin. “Yes.” 
      “Figures.”
Gunnar stalked out and pounded up the stairs. She braced for the slamming of the door, but it didn’t come.
In fact, no sound emanated from above for thirty minutes, during which time Tessa finished tidying, then decided to mop the kitchen floor, though it didn’t need it.
She was hoisting a bucket filled with soapy water from the sink when she saw Gunnar in her peripheral vision. Stopping short, water sloshed onto the floor.
“Will you stop doing that?”
“What?” he asked, reaching behind her for the mop leaning against the door frame.
She froze long enough to see his intent before swiping the long handle from him. She’d had time to ruminate on their earlier exchange. Time enough to shore up her nerve should they have another clash, which wasn’t as difficult as she might have guessed. An attack on her faith dispatched her anxiety faster than anything.
“Stop sneaking up on me. Every time I turn around—”
“You should pay more attention.”
“And don’t cut me off when I’m talking,” she said. Gunnar watched her blandly.
“Could you?” She gestured for him to move back so she could sop up the water.
He complied. “Do you have a minute?”
Tessa plunged the wet mop back into the bucket. She didn’t want to be cornered, so she motioned him back further to allow access to the hallway. She may not be afraid of him at the moment, but there was no way of predicting what else could set him off.
More confident with multiple exits, she leaned on the mop handle. “What is it?”
His mouth thinned. He rolled his shoulders as an athlete might before an event. “I want to apologize. I seem to be overreacting to everything. It’s no excuse, but I’m under a lot of stress.”
He wasn’t himself. Apologizing for his behavior definitely wasn’t his style. It couldn’t be easy for him. It shouldn’t be.
“I don’t know what happened. I wish I did,” he said.
Her compassion awakened, but knowing it could be foolish to let him see how soft she really was, she fixed him with the most unaffected look she could manage.
She felt worse when he quietly walked away.
She was still wrestling with it when she heard his car start and speed down the block.


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Suzanne D. Williams  
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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