Savoring Summer #22: Sweet Morsels

IMG_1842 edit“If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

I’m getting into some of the best parts of the book of Romans this week, folks, and it’s enough to send the chills up and down my spine.  If you want some serious encouragement, go read today’s passage.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo: You can’t see the scale here, but these were hands down the biggest wild strawberries I’ve ever found.  They were shortly thereafter enjoyed over homemade vanilla ice cream, as all good strawberries should be.

Savoring Summer #21: Field of Flowers

IMG_1627 edit

Memory verse: “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The third step on the Romans Road is the solution to the problem.

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo: I have never seen the fields near our house as completely covered in flowers as they are this year—and other people are saying it, too, so I know I’m not imagining it.

Savoring Summer #20: Raindrops on Petals

“Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25)

I was struck by this idea of “eagerly waiting” with “patience”. It almost seemed like a contradiction. Isn’t that practically the same thing as saying we wait “impatiently”? The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized how important the subtle difference is between the two.

It’s basically the difference between excitedly counting down the days until your wedding day, as opposed to getting grumpy about waiting in a long line.

Both involve waiting; both involve a desired goal.

The difference is joy.

How are you waiting?

This was a verse I went back to meditate on more as I reviewed what I’ve read over the last week. If you’re reading along with me through Romans, what passage provoked YOUR thinking this week?  I’d love for you to share in the comments!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #19: Deptford Pink

IMG_1743 editIMG_1741 edit“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

This is the verse you need to keep handy for that hard day…or hard week…or hard month or year.  What infinite grace to know that was is coming for those who love the Lord will, indeed, no matter what you’re going through, “be worth it all”.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the pictures: Just when I start to think that I’ve identified every flowering plant in the area (always a personal project of mine), I find a new one!  Apparently, this variety of dianthus is a non-native introduction that’s considered a “weed”…but it sure is pretty!

Savoring Summer #18: Chasing Rainbows

IMG_1770 edit“For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”

The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17)

Just meditating today on the beauty of THIS!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #17: Clear Lake

IMG_1661 edit“For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:22-25)

Isn’t it nice to know that even the great Apostle Paul found himself caught in the war between the flesh and the Spirit?  That all of us, from the so-called greatest to the so-called smallest, struggle and fail in our humanity?  But even better to know that victory can be ours, not by our own striving, but through the power of Jesus Christ which is freely and equally available to all.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #16: Budding Rose

IMG_1589 edit“But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.” (Romans 7:6)

Christ has freed us to serve God out of love rather than duty.  How beautiful is this?!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Bonus for you: I recently rediscovered a couple posts in my draft folder that never got published but were nearly complete.  Because they were somewhat time-specific, I’ve decided to put on the finishing touches on a couple of them and post them backdated to the time when I initially wrote and photographed them.  I’m not sure if those of you on my email list will still get a notification if I backdate a post, so I thought I’d include the link here, just in case!  I’ll be posting them as I get them done over the next few weeks, but here’s the first one!

Savoring Summer #15: Dogwood

IMG_1449 edit“What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:15)

When it comes to the topic of good works, people often fall into one extreme or the other.  Either their good works are earning them a place in heaven (legalism), or good works are useless and mean nothing (which gives them license to do as they please “because it’s all covered by grace”).  But neither of these views is accurate!

I love how today’s passage explains so well the proper place that “good works” should have in a Christian’s thinking.  We are not just saved FROM sin, we are also saved TO righteousness.

Sanctification, that big word that basically means “to be set apart to holiness” or “to become pure, free from sin”, is God’s desire for His children, just as our desire is for our children to heed our parental discipline and instruction, learn and mature, and grow up to live happy, healthy and useful lives.

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

Savoring Summer #14: Don’t Blink

IMG_1487 editMemory verse:  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

The second step on the “Romans Road” to Christ is recognizing the consequences of our sin.

P.S. See this post if you’re unfamiliar with the Romans Road!  Also, see this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!

About the photo:  I almost missed him.  If I hadn’t walked over to look more closely at a flowering shrub, I would never have known that this beautiful little fawn was down there in the ditch, motionless, but watching me closely!  What a gift to see him up close!

Savoring Summer #13: At the Edge of the Wetlands

IMG_1451 edit“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 

This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

As I meditated over what I read over the last week, I came back to this passage and, again, couldn’t get away from the beauty of it.  I tried to pick out one verse of these five to share here, but I couldn’t.  The whole section is SO good, and it’s just meant to be all together for a complete picture of the triumph of faith.  

If you’re reading along with me through Romans, what passage was YOUR highlight of the week?  I’d love for you to share in the comments!

P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!