Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Photo Friday - Fall Colors

Fall colors at the bay We are not known for the brilliant reds and oranges down here on the coast, but the goldenrod is lovely this time of year. It used to be Alabama's state flower, and I had a goldenrod patch sewn on my Girl Scout uniform. Unfortunately, goldenrod has a bad reputation, though, as it hangs out with ragweed, the inconspicuous allergen-producer. Goldenrod itself is very unlikely to cause allergies, as its pollen is heavy and not windborne.

(I don't know what the white flowers in the picture are; it's not ragweed. Ragweed flowers are not noticeable, and it is low-growing as well.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

To my friends in harm's way (Hurricane Sandy)

I hope and pray that you will come through this safe and sound, and with minimal damage to your homes. I know what you're going through, we've been through a few hurricanes down here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and some ice storms and a blizzard when we lived a little further north. Hoping to see you here again in Blogland after your power is restored and you have the time and energy to report in. (((HUGS)))

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Love's Invitation, by Jake Owensby, of The Pelican Anglican

Love's Invitation

With permission from the blog owner, I am posting the above link and excerpts from the entry here. (I discovered this article from a magazine of my mother's, The Anglican Digest. It was one of the last magazines she read before she fell and broke her hip, about six months before she passed away.)

Do you have to believe in Jesus Christ to go to heaven? To frame this in a slightly different way, will those who die without faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior inherit eternal torment in hell? ................

...............When talking to Nicodemus Jesus says, “indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” And then he goes on to say, “Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16-17) Just before his Passion Jesus says to his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14: 6-7) Jesus came to save us. Not to condemn us. .................................

....................God did not send his Son Jesus to assess our acceptability to God. Jesus does not administer admissions tests to see if we’ve been good enough to get into heaven. He does not come to condemn. Jesus comes to save us. From ourselves. For a life we cannot construct for ourselves. Jesus is not just a great teacher or political instigator or moral example. He is God. He is a man. Not a little bit of God or a little bit of man. He is fully God. Fully man. Think of Jesus as God reaching out his hand to us in a way that makes it possible for us to actually take hold of it. ............................................

...............For now, let it suffice to say that Jesus is God’s love incarnate. Accepting or rejecting him is accepting or rejecting God’s love. And only that love saves us. ..................................

.................The Savior who has reached out his hand to me did so in a way that I could recognize despite my own history of hurt and betrayal, through the curtain of my cynicism, defensiveness, and fear.

He made himself known to me despite my unenviable habits and my shabby choices, my once fawning devotion to what passes for intellectual sophistication and my arrogance. Jesus issued an invitation to me. For years, I could not see it for what it was. He kept at it until it became a clear, recognizable invitation to me. He was clear all along. I was the problem.

Because of who he is, he has gone to remarkable lengths to get through to me. I could have turned his invitation down even once I knew it for what it is. Accepting that invitation has changed everything. Over time. And according to that invitation there’s much more to come.

I have every reason to believe that he does the same for everyone. He finds a way to issue his invitation for what it really is: the saving love of God himself.

Linked to Spiritual Sundays

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wisdom from above

Quiet time James 3: 13-18, "13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness." New International Version

If only all we who call ourselves Christians would remember and apply this to our hearts and behavior (and I am including myself in this), what a blessing we would be to the world!

Humility is undesirable; who wants to be meek and humble? Envy, ambition, boasting - those are things that are so hard to control. A person without ambition is considered lazy and unproductive, yet God tells us in His word that ambition, selfish ambition, leads to disorder and every evil practice.

We can't be pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, merciful, fruitful, impartial, and sincere on our own. This is "wisdom that comes from heaven" - God's wisdom, and He will give it to us if we ask. But do we (I) really want it? This is what we (I) need to think about, to pray about.

Shared on Spiritual Sundays

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Photo Friday - Mood

Sidewalk artist, originally uploaded by Fancy Horse.