Savoring Summer #28: In the Daisy Field

IMG_2152 edit.jpgMemory verse: “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

The fourth step on the Romans Road is about our needed response to the solution to our 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!)!

Savoring Summer #27: Mother Hen

IMG_2103 edit.jpg“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Looking back over what I read this last week, I was easily drawn back to chapter 8.  There is so much good stuff in that one chapter!  This particular verse in it is a frequently quoted one, but for good reason.  

We’ve all been through those seasons in our lives when it sure doesn’t FEEL like things are going to work together for the good, does it?  But this is a precious promise to lean on in the midst of those struggles and hard times.

This is not to say that there aren’t any consequences for mistakes or sin, but it is to say that God can use even the ugly thing and turn them around for His ultimate glory and good.  I’ve watched it happen, time and again, and it’s such a beautiful thing.

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: The best part about this picture is what’s not pictured:  a handful or more of the tiniest brown striped chicks you ever saw, almost completely camouflaged in the weeds behind her.  The grass rippled with the movement of them all running away while she stood guard.

Savoring Summer #26: Muskrat

IMG_1988 edit“Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, do not boast that you are better than those branches. But if you do boast—you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you.” (Romans 11:17-18)

When I read this, I remember my grandpa doing an actual grafting demonstration in the church basement one Sunday evening to help us visualize what verses like this meant in the Bible.  He and my grandma were both passionate about praying for “the cultivated olive tree”, God’s chosen people, humbly and gratefully recognizing them as “the root”.

It’s a sweet memory of him, and the memory was a good reminder to me today to pray for the Jewish people (may they finally recognize Jesus as their true Messiah!) and, as the psalmist exhorts, the peace of Jerusalem!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122:6)

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!)!

IMG_1980 editAbout the photo:  When you discover a muskrat sharing your swimming space, you either panic or count it as the highlight of your day.  We chose the latter!

Savoring Summer #25: Blush Slippers

IMG_2118 edit.jpg“I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

Yes, it’s quite possible to be zealous for God but be incorrect about it.  He’s referring here to the Jews, who had God’s very law in their hands—and still missed the point.  This was such a good warning to me, to beware lest I ever slide into establishing my own ideas and standards of (seemingly Godly) righteousness instead of always falling back on the truth of His Word and His righteousness!

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:  Home-school lesson of the week: an in-person introduction to our state flower.  Haven’t they been wonderful this year?!

Savoring Summer #24: Wood Anemone

IMG_1480 edit“As it also says in Hosea,

I will call Not my People, My People,

and she who is Unloved, Beloved.

And it will be in the place where they were told,

you are not my people,

there they will be called sons of the living God.” (Romans 9:25-26)

For those of us who are not part of God’s chosen people, the Jews, by birth, but believe in our hearts that Jesus is the only Way, the Truth and the Life: this is OUR promise!  God has enlarged His fold, and we, too, are chosen!

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 #23: City Bush

IMG_1862 edit.jpg“For the Scripture tells Pharaoh, I raised you up for this reason so that I may display my power in you and that my name may be proclaimed in the whole earth.” (Romans 9:17)

Isn’t it a tremendous comfort to recognize that God is in control, that He has a plan, and that His purposes will not be thwarted by the foibles of mankind?  

So, when everything seems out of control in the world or your life, remember that God still is, and always will be in ultimate control.  Don’t give in to fear.

Or when you think YOU have everything under control, or are tempted to put your trust in the power and promises of man, remember that God still is, and always will be in ultimate control.  Don’t give in to false security.

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:  This magnificent elderberry bush beautified my lunch break during a trip to town today, proving that the beauty of nature is to be found even in a grocery store parking lot.

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!