Savoring Summer #29: Black-Eyed Susans

IMG_2190 edit.jpg“Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?

And who has ever given to God, that he should be repaid?

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

I love how this is subtitled “A Hymn of Praise” in my Bible, as Paul beautifully sums up how he feels about the complex, mysterious, yet wonderful things he had expounded on thus far. 

I think this would be the perfect hymn to turn to both when when you are in complete awe of God, and when you believe yet are struggling to understand.

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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #11: Wild Columbine

IMG_5350 edit“If by the one man [Adam]’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

I have occasionally thought that it doesn’t seem quite “fair” that we all, without exception, have to suffer for Great-Grandfather Adam’s bite out of an apple. 

But is it “fair” that God had to send His only begotten Son to buy redemption for Adam and his entire family with His own life?  No, Adam had very “fair” warning (“you shall surely die”), but even after daily in-person face-to-face walks and talks with God (can you even imagine?!), he still chose to disbelieve his Creator. 

What probably would have been “fair” would have been for God to completely abandon Adam’s race to their deliberate and foolish choice and start again with an entirely new race on a different planet.  Why shouldn’t the Master Artist toss out a project that failed due to willfully flawed material and move on to other, better things?

But we all know that He didn’t, and that He chose an epic plan of love and redemption instead.  There’s nothing “fair” about that; it’s sheer mercy.  What wondrous love is this, O my soul?!

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 #8: Blue-Eyed Grass

IMG_1355 edit“The righteousness of God

is through faith in Jesus Christ,

to all who believe,

since there is no distinction.” (Romans 3:22)

The word that stood out to me was ALL, coupled with “no distinction”.  It reminded me of this verse:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galations 3:28)

(…and you fill in the blank with any number of “opposite” parties.)

There is no room for segregation in the family of God.  In the midst of a world that seems to thrive on sorting people out into many separate groups and categories with all sorts of labels, let us strive instead for God’s view of people, who freely robes in righteousness with only one condition: belief.

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!)!