“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
1 Deuteronomy 32:2
I took this picture right outside the back of my grandparent’s house one day years ago as I was doing an assignment for college. I have no idea what that assignment was now, but I remember sitting outside after a storm had passed through and just witnessing the world come to life all around me. The rain had passed and everything just seemed to perk up and come alive. The funny thing about rain is that is brings out color in everything. We think of beautiful, colorful objects as having that “wet” look. Water is essential and the source of all life. In exactly the same way, Moses stated, GrowTaller4Idiots “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants” 1 Deuteronomy 32:2. As Christians, we should soak up the Word just as the tender plants live off the rain. Is your “spiritual sponge” dried out? Or are you soaked so deeply that you can wring out your love and faith onto others so that you may bring them to life as well? Let the teachings fall like rain into your life and watch how beautiful the world becomes all around you.
“Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”
One of my favorite trees is a Japanese Cherry Blossom and this bloom is from a Yoshino Cherry Blossom in the middle of October. This particular tree blooms twice a year, but many cherry blossoms only bloom once. When they bloom, they are filled with a bright, white glow for about a week. As quickly as the blossoms come alive, they slowly float off with the gentlest breeze. The beauty is extremely short-lived, but it’s amazing while it lasts. In the same sense, life is short, but it can be as beautiful as you make it. Just as it says in Genesis 9:3, “Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” God has given us everything…just the same as the delicate cherry blossom. Are you making the most of your bloom? Will you be ready when the breeze comes? Your life may be dry and bare just like the cherry blossom for 50 out of 52 weeks of the year, but all you have to do is hang in there…the seasons change and your bloom is worth the wait. Have faith and be strong.
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“He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”
Often blinded by the business of life, we fail to stop and catch our breath. Psalm 23:2 reminds us to find God in the calm, quiet waters and let Him restore our soul. Personally, I feel closest to God when I’m around water of any form…rain, ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, oceans, etc. There’s something cleansing and refreshing about water that seems to remind me of how simple, yet important one of God’s gifts can be. Currently in Georgia we are experiencing a drought of historic proportions. Lately I couldn’t help but think of all of the things that we often strive to earn…job titles, cars, homes, big-screen TV’s, surround sound systems, clothes, etc. Did God create any of this? Do we even need it? What about water? When was the last time you worked hard for a glass of water? Have you ever put in extra hours at the office for a bottle? Probably not. The point is…God provided us with the essentials; water, air, food, and time. Sometimes we probably wish we had more time & food, but it’s safe to say we hardly think about water & air. Now…think of it this way…what if God took just one of those away. Could you make it? Maybe for a few days. Now what if God took one of your “earned possessions” away? Could you make it then? Absolutely! You could lose everything you own and make it just fine in God’s eyes! God gives us everything we need…the rest is just selfish entertainment. I realize this more than ever we I stand at the edge of the ocean in awe of how tiny I am compared to everything above, below, and around me. That everything is God and nothing else is important. When has God ever sent you a bill or statement in the mail to say how much you owe? The truth is that God isn’t a debt collector…your life has already been paid in full. He couldn’t care less about what all you own…the fact is that you’re going to leave it right where it’s at when your time comes!
I encourage you to take a step back from “life” and everything you feel that you have to do in order to “make ends meet”. Reevaluate what matters most to you and restore your soul. Find some quiet waters (even if it’s a bathtub) and spend some time alone with God…just talking it out. The answers you need are waiting on you to ask the right questions.
“For the message of the cross…is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
I had once read of the symbolism between the dogwood tree and Good Friday and wanted to try and somewhat represent that story with a photo. Perhaps it will change how you look at a dogwood tree as it did for me.
Please note that the following story isn’t taken from scripture…it is merely a story of symbolism I had heard long ago.
“The dogwood was the tree chosen to construct the Cross that would be used to take the body of Jesus. Even though His body may have been taken from this earth, His spirit remains and every spring we are blessed with a reminder of the events that unfolded on that fateful weekend. The blooms often appear in the shape of a Cross with holes in the tips of the pedals signifying the nails that were driven into the Cross. If you look closely at these holes you can notice a faint red stain representing the Blood. In the center you will find a green bloom symbolizing the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus. After the Crucifixion, God proclaimed that dogwood trees would never grow large ever again. This is the reason the trunks of dogwoods are skinny and often branch off low on the trunk. The dogwood is more than a tree…it is a representation of life. With every spring we are reminded of what God did for us and given the chance to be reborn and start a new life as “children of God”. (John 3:1)”
“The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven.”
This photo was taken at the observation point of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. This California poppy flower may be passed up be thousands of visitors daily, but it caught my eye and made me think of a verse. Ezekiel 8:3 says, “The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven.” The tallest flower reminds me of how we should “lift up” from earth and reach towards heaven. It also shows how the higher you get, the brighter you become. I may have taken more photos of this flower than I did of the Golden Gate Bridge!
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…instead, it should be that of your inner self…which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
1 Peter 3:3-4
A “modernized” version of Matthew chapter 6 says, “(27) Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? (28) All this time and money wasted on fashion–do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, (29) but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. (30)”If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers–most of which are never even seen–don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?”
This inspirational picture shows that just as a flower’s beauty blossoms from the inside-out, so should ours. If God can create amazing beauty in a flower that may never even be seen, then know that He has placed something beautiful inside us as well. As we reveal that beauty from the inside, our entire lives and the way the world sees us will change.
“Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live.”
This inspirational picture is of a tulip drenched in the rain. The background is black and white, which sets the colors of the tulip popping out of the print. The rain drops add character and mood while depicting Daniel 4:15 “Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live.” As the flower is drenched with the dew, it lives. This verse compares to life in the sense that we should let God’s fortune shower us instead of us covering up and trying to handle everything ourselves. Open up and let the dew of heaved drench you and you will live in ways you never knew.