Monday, March 31, 2014
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
Black-Crested Night Heron, Shark Valley Natural Area, Everglades National Park, March 2014
Of all the things that can occupy our thoughts, so often our minds may find themselves drifting towards those things that bring us worry and fear, stress becoming our daily drink. The psalmist reminds us of the transformative gift of training our minds to seek God and to rest in God and trade everyday stress for the very peace that passes all understanding. To swap out our burdens for the peace of God.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
Baby Anhingas, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, February 2014
How will your life sing praises to God today? Tomorrow? Always?
Thursday, March 27, 2014
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?
Great Blue Heron, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, February 2014
Given what Jesus has to say about loving those who hate us, it is a wonder why we put so little time and effort into putting his words into practice in real life. Do we fear letting go of our hate and allowing the action of love to transform us and possibly others?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.
At Snake Warrior Island Natura Area, Miramar, Florida, March, 2014
The world will not fail to call you to compromise, not for the sake of the gospel, but for the sake of what matters most in its own calculus, which is power not relationships, judgment and not mercy, control and not love.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.
Fishing pier, Intracoastal Waterway, Hollywood, Florida, March 2014
The cross does not demand that we look for suffering for its own sake, but daily die to ourselves so that we may live for Christ. True serving requires true humility. All else requires repentance.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!
You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.
Inter-coastal Waterway, Hollywood, Florida, March 2014
For the LORD will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
It is not where success appears in great evidence, nor where power has been accumulated and exercised that they Lord has promised to be most present and most clearly revealed, but rather in the desert of our life, in the wasteland of our brokenness. And where the Lord is present, life finds a way.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
Pelican and seagulls, the Dock at Flamingo, Everglades National Park, February 2014
After we lambast other Christians for conveniently forgetting this in order to justify their hatred of others, let us cut this verse out and post it on our bathroom mirrors to remind ourselves that humility is the hallmark of the Christian faith as the ultimate tonic for hypocrisy. Lest we forget.
Friday, March 21, 2014
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hand
Psalm 31: 12, 14-15a
Ruddy Daggerwing, Long Key Nature Preserve, Davie, Florida, March 2014
How many times have we felt the same way?
Utterly broken, lost, even forsaken - yet what sustained us and sustains us still is the promise, the hope to which we cling when all the evidence suggests otherwise.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
Water lily, Long Key Nature Preserve, Davie, Florida, March 2014
And that power word is the word of promise that nothing can separate us from him; of sins forgiven no matter how long ago, how terrible, how numerous; of a love for us as powerful as God's love for God's son.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
But as for you, return to your God,
hold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.
Dragonfly, Rowdy Bend Trail, Everglades National Park, February 2014
I think when we read scriptures with an open mind and an open heart we will find them saturated with the cries of those longing for justice. We will find God's prophets ridiculing us, our excuses, our paralysis, our lack of empathy and action. We will find a savior who shows us how to reverse our thinking, unfreeze ourselves, and truly live as a just and loving Kingdom people.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your waysand my thoughts than your thoughts.
Pelican, Flamingo Dock, Everglades National Park, February 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
Let me abide in your tent forever,
find refuge under the shelter of your wings.
Osprey, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, March 2014
We face nothing in life alone. The Lord's strength becomes our strength. The Lord's compassion our healing. The Lord's love, our hope.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,and our tongue with shouts of joy;then it was said among the nations,"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us,and we rejoiced.
Juvenile Anhingas, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, March 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth.
Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, March, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Sunday, March 9, 2014
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the LORD;
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the LORD,
and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
and I shall live for him.
Green Heron, Shark Valley Visitor's Area, Everglades National Park, February 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Along Snake Bite Trail, Everglades National Park, February 2014