Savoring Summer #30: Freshwater Clam

IMG_2248 edit.jpg“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

But oh, but how this “age” (or “world” or “pattern/standard of this world” in other translations) we live in begs for us to conform, and how quickly and easily our minds are clouded by its alluring priorities, causes, and agendas!

Something that stood out to me in this verse that hadn’t really before:  it suggests that perhaps the first step to understanding the will of God—something many, many people desire—is to check on your conformity versus transformity status.  Hmmm…

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 #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 #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!