I {LOVE} Sunday::for love to abound more and more...

And it is my prayer
that your love may abound more and more,
with knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve what is excellent,
and so be pure and blameless
for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11

With the Sunday Community at Lisha's #GiveMeGrace


Still Saturday:in every relationship whatever the circumstance...

If I have a word or verse for the year, it's to flourish and be fruitful and Psalm 92, When I'm still and quiet and contemplating the path I sense the LORD is placing before me in this season, I find encouragement in the wise words of Jean Fleming.
Fruitfulness in every season requires flexibility. The vision must be broad enough, deep enough, to transfer to my changing circumstances. 
I can love God and love people to the grave and beyond. 
I can do this in every relationship no matter where I am, whatever the circumstances in my life. I can abide in Christ and be a link in the chain to help others know and follow Him. Whether it is in intense, close relationships or brief glancing contacts with people or through prayer, I can seek to glorify God and further His kingdom.

Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life, p. 122

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday


Every good and perfect gift::on keeping my motives pure......


{Every now and then someone will ask me about using one of my photos, or question why I don't apply a watermark to them. How I answer depends on who that person is, but usually I refer them to this post or others like it that explains my response. Yes, I am paid for the use of some of my photos, and for that I am most appreciative -- especially at this very moment, when I'm saving my pennies for a new laptop. My husband's computer, where most of my photos are stored, crashed, and I stepped on my laptop. I'm typing and editing photos through a screen that is criss-crossed with purple lines of various width. But most people who ask to use one of my photos either want them for their personal use or to share with others - and to that I say, "To God be the Glory." In light of a recent request, I thought I'd re-post my usual response.}

When Louis bought an inexpensive digital point and shoot camera, the end of my twenty-three years of homeschooling our children was on the horizon, and the empty nest years were in view. It was Louis' hope that a camera would help me fill the empty places that were sure to come in the days ahead.

Ten years and two cameras later, it seems that Louis' hopes have become a reality. Many of my photos have been used by both print magazines and online websites. My friend Robbi and I are working with a designer to prepare our book* with over two dozen of my photos for publication. And just this week, I've been ordering prints and considering frame options for four of my photographs that will hang in the hallway of the Hendry County Courthouse.

When an image of a tassel flower {captured with that inexpensive point and shoot camera} opened up on my computer screen and piqued my interest in nature photography those years ago, I had no clue or aspirations for where photography would take me. Clearly an amateur and without photoshop, I never considered a watermark on my photos, and that has not changed.  

Please hear my heart in this. The reasons for my decision to not watermark my photos are a reflection of my relationship with the Father who knows my heart and my needs. They are NOT an indictment against photographers who do, but an example of how God works in our individual lives to conform us to the image of Christ.

This is what the Holy Spirit says to me about my photos:

God is the creator of all that is good and beautiful. I might have an eye for uncovering and framing beauty, but even that is a gift from His hand. A watermark is used to claim ownership, and rightfully so, but I am only a steward of the gift. I'll carry nothing with me into eternity. I'm simply capturing what belongs to the Father.  
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1.17
God is glorified and I'm most satisfied when my needs are met in Him alone. One of the prayers I can count on God answering with a yes every time comes from Psalm 139: 
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
God knows my heart and prompts me to check my motives. He knows my longing to be affirmed and noticed by others - to be loved and esteemed for what I do, and a watermark on my photos can be a way for me to say, look at me and what I can do. It isn't that God doesn't want us to encourage and recognize the gifts in others, but that He wants me to not look to and rely on others for that affirmation. He wants me to be completely satisfied by my relationship with Him and affirmed by knowing that I am fully loved - not for what I do, but for who I am in Christ.  

A watermark doesn't add anything of beauty to my photos. In fact, a watermark can be a distraction. If my motives are pure, I don't want those who see my photos to think, oh look - it's Pollywog Creek. I want others to be inspired to worship and be filled with awe and wonder at the power and beauty of our Creator God. 

What about you? Has God ever prevented you from doing something that is perfectly acceptable for others, but not for you?

*That book was printed last spring and is available to purchase here.


I {LOVE} Sunday::to hold fast...

Let love be genuine.

Abhor what is evil;

hold fast to what is good.

Romans 12:9

With the Sunday Community at Lisha's #GiveMeGrace


Still Saturday::to stop scurrying about...

One of the reasons we invest our lives in some insignificant ways is that we never become still enough to let the great realities hit us. We are always on the move. Always in a hurry. Or when we do stop, we flip on the radio or the TV and let somebody else's hurry fill our minds.

Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still [or cease striving, cease hurrying, be still, be quiet] and know that I am God. I am [or: will be, it's probably a promise] exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

What that text says is that the life-revolutionizing impact of God's supremacy in the world and his inevitable triumph over the nations, and the coming of his glorious kingdom of righteousness and peace—the impact of this awesome reality doesn't hit us and hold us and shape us unless we become still, and quiet before God. GOD hits home in the stillness. If you want your life to be significant, you've got to stop running, and stop scurrying about, and turn off the TV and the radio, and get alone, and be quiet, and let the mammoth realities of human lostness and eternal judgment and never-ending joy and God's universal triumph take hold of you and change your life. 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday
Please keep Sandra and the rest of the Compassion team in prayer as they travel to the Dominican Republic this weekend.