5 Things To Take Pictures Of This Spring

5 Things To Take Pictures Of This SpringDo you enjoy taking pictures? Spring is an awesome time to capture pics you simply can’t get any other time throughout the year, as the barrenness of winter is being replaced by the new life of spring in God’s beautiful creation!

Here is a list of 5 things to take pictures of this spring:

  1. In the springtime, flowers abound. Find new and unusual ways to portray their colorful beauty!
  2. Rainy day? After the rain showers are over, head outside, and capture the glistening wet look of your surroundings. (After all, rain is simply a part of the season!) And be sure to keep your eyes open for rainbows to take pictures of as the sun’s rays begin to peek through the clouds!
  3. Be sure to take photos of the little things that are a part of the season that you may take for granted now, but miss during the long winter months – things such as the bright green grass and leaves, and brilliant blue skies.
  4. Dandelions sprouting up everywhere in your backyard? Instead of seeing them as pests, view them as a photography challenge. Take pictures with them as your subject, finding unique shots to take of them.
  5. Love to watch butterflies fluttering by in the late spring, and into the summer? Why don’t you take pictures of them earlier on as caterpillars, and record their development into butterflies? You may even want catch a caterpillar to raise, so that you can more easily capture images of each stage of the process!

Spring Photography

Spring is a great time to take pictures! The grass turns green, leaves are budding, flowers are blooming, and birds come out to sing their cheery song. Signs of new life are everywhere, reminding us of the new life that we have in Christ.

Here are a few spring pictures I have taken of some of the things there are to look forward to each year with the coming of warmer weather:

spring sky 2

Winter skies just never possess the same deep, brilliant blue hue as that of a sunny spring day!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring grassAfter months of white, snowy scenery, it’s wonderful to see bright, colorful green grass growing!

 

 

 

 

 

spring blossoms

The blossoms that appear in the springtime are so pretty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you look forward to the most about spring each year? Do you enjoy taking pictures? What is your favorite thing to take pictures of in spring?

Saved By Grace, Through Faith

Saved By Grace, Through FaithThis week’s memory passage from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is Ephesians 2:8-9. These verses state that it is by grace, through faith, that we are saved, and this not of ourselves, for it is the gift of God.

It is by God’s grace that we have been saved. Because of His great love for us, we have been made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5). We were once sinners – without hope and without God in this world (Ephesians 2:12). However, God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, that we, by believing in Him, might have eternal life (John 3:16). Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), and John 1:12 promises that ALL who receive Him, and believe in His name, are given the right to become children of God!

We have been saved by grace, through faith. We can’t earn salvation. We can’t do anything to merit it. It is a gift of God’s amazing grace, to be received freely. It is by faith that we have been made righteous (Romans 3:22). This righteousness is not based on anything that we have done, but on what Christ has done for us. Through faith, we reach out and take the salvation that God holds out to us.

It is by grace, through faith, that we have been saved. We have a wonderful Heavenly Father, who offers salvation to us freely. This salvation is received not through our actions, but through faith in His Son. Let’s give thanks to God for His unequaled love and grace!

Linking this post up with Monday’s Musings at What Joy Is Mine

Baptism In The Holy Spirit

Baptism In The Holy SpiritWeek 16 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearing its end. This week’s reading was Acts 1-5. These chapters speak mainly of Jesus’ ascension, the first instance of baptism in the Holy Spirit, which took place on the day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church, and several other instances in early church history.

In Acts 1, we read of there being a sound as of violent wind, tongues of fire coming to rest upon those who were gathered together, and the Holy Spirit coming upon them. They then began to speak in other tongues, as they were enabled by the Spirit (Acts 2:4).This was the baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had spoken of in Acts 1:5, which He told the disciples not to leave home without (Acts 1:4).

Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a part of God’s plan for believers, and is a separate experience from salvation. When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is simply an overflowing of that which is within us. It is typically accompanied, as in this instance in Acts 2, by the ability to speak in tongues. Romans 8:26 speaks of the Spirit interceding for us when we don’t know what to pray. This is, in a nutshell, what takes place when we pray in tongues – the Spirit interceding for us.

Luke 11:13 says that if parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. If you have never received baptism in the Holy Spirit, and would like to do so, simply ask God for it, receiving it in faith, just as you did with salvation. Those who ask will receive (Acts 7:8). Know that God is both ready and waiting to give this gift to you!

Ten Songs For The Weekend Ahead

Ten Songs For The Weekend AheadLooking for music to listen to this upcoming weekend? Check out this list of song suggestions for the weekend ahead!

  1. His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew
  2. Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West
  3. Do Life Big by Jamie Grace
  4. Closer by Hillsong Live
  5. A Million Miles Away by Hawk Nelson
  6. Ready or Not by Britt Nicole
  7. Brighter by Hillsong Young and Free
  8. Go Glow by Newsboys
  9. Speak Life by Toby Mac
  10. Let It Be Known by Worship Central

Which of these songs do you enjoy? What is your favorite Christian song? Who is your favorite Christian artist? Comment, and share the music you love!

Grace Unplugged, and Finding Fulfillment

Grace Unplugged, and Finding FulfillmentI recently watched Grace Unplugged, a Christian movie about a teenage girl named Grace – daughter of a former-rock-star-turned-Christian – and her struggle with wanting to live life her own way, chasing her own dreams. Leaving home to pursue a career in the music biz, she would soon discover that the glamour life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the importance of a relationship with God over the world’s empty promises.

Throughout the film, Grace sought fulfillment in a variety of places – fame, a guy whom she thought cared about her, success in her music career – only to come up empty and heart-broken each time. This is the story of many of our lives.  We try to satisfy our deepest longings with that which can never bring true satisfaction, and no matter what we do, something always seems to be missing. Like Grace, it is only when we turn to God that we will truly find what we are looking for. It is in Christ that we are complete (Colossians 2:10). Only the love of our Heavenly Father can fill the void within us, giving our lives true meaning and purpose.

Grace Unplugged stars AJ Michalka as Grace Trey, whom the movie’s about, Jamie Grace as Rachel, Grace’s friend, and features a special appearance by Chris Tomlin. Rated PG, it is a great movie for teens and adults, and a good reminder that true fulfillment and purpose are found in the arms of our Heavenly Father!

Grace Unplugged, and Finding Fulfillment

Linked up this post with Thriving Thursdays at Serving Joyfully

You Are A New Creation In Christ

You Are A New Creation In ChristThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is
2 Corinthians 5:17. It says that if we are in Christ, we are a new creation. The old has past, and the new has come!

We were once sinners, caught in our own transgressions.

We were lost. Alone. Distant. Without hope, and without God in the world
(Ephesians 2:12).

Because of what Christ has done for us, however, we are not who we once were. We have been made new.

We have been redeemed. Accepted. Forgiven. Rescued. Reconciled. Perfected once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). Made right with our Heavenly Father.

This is not because of anything that we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us. We are in Him, and He is our new identity. In this world, as He is, so are we
(1 John 4:17)! Next time you begin to feel guilty, condemned, or unworthy, remember that you are a new creation in Christ. The old has past, and the new has come!

Celebrate Jesus All Year Long

Celebrate Jesus All Year LongEaster is the time of year when we celebrate Jesus, and all that He’s accomplished for us, in coming to earth, dying at for our sins, and rising again. We rejoice in the fact that because of all that He’s done, we can become God’s children (John 1:12), and receive eternal life (John 3:16).

We celebrate Jesus at Easter, but sometimes, throughout the year, it’s easy to lose sight of His finished work, and all that it means for us. Perhaps we get so caught up in the busyness and cares of this life that we begin to lose sight of all that He’s done for us. Maybe our friends or families, or the people at our workplace, aren’t believers, and we’re constantly surrounded by those who don’t know or haven’t accepted the good news of the gospel. Whatever the reason, once Easter is finished, we often shift our focus away from the One whom it is all about, and whose sacrifice for us gives us something to rejoice over no matter what the season.

The good news of what Christ has done for us, however, is so much bigger than just one day of the year. The gospel is power of God for the saving of all who believe (Romans 1:16), which alone contains the ability to affect true life change. It is all because of Jesus that we, who have sinned, can approach an holy God, and be accepted by Him, regardless of our actions, and qualified to receive all of His blessings. It is through the love and grace that God, because of Jesus, can now show us, that our deepest longings can be truly satisfied. It is by believing in Him, and accepting what He has done for us, that we can someday spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.

Though Easter is over, our celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and all that He’s accomplished for us, doesn’t have to be. Hebrews 12:2 bids us to fix our eyes upon Him, without specifying a particular day or time of year. Let’s continue to rejoice in our Savior’s finished work all year long!

Happy Resurrection (Mon)day!

Linking this post up to Monday’s Musings at What Joy Is Mine

He Is Risen

He Is RisenJohn 20 speaks of Jesus’ resurrection, and Him appearing to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, as well as to His disciples. It proclaims the glad tidings that He is risen!

Early in the morning on first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb, and saw that the stone had been removed. She ran to tell Peter and John about this, then stood outside the tomb, weeping. She saw two angels who asked her why she was crying, to which she responded that Jesus had been taken away, and she didn’t know where they had put Him. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. She went and told the disciples the good news that she had seen Him.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself the question “What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for me, over 2,000 years after it occurred?” Here are a few of the ways that the resurrection affects our lives today:

  • Jesus died for our sins, and was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). At the cross, He took our sins upon Himself, paying the price for them, which was death (Romans 6:23). His resurrection  proclaims the fact that our sins have been completely and effectively dealt with, and that there remains nothing left for us to do but to receive the forgiveness that God offers to us.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14 proclaims that one died for all, and therefore all died. Because Jesus took our place at the cross, His death was our death. We have been raised with Him (Colossians 3:1). We were once dead in our transgressions, but we have been made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5)!
  • After Jesus rose again and ascended to heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God as our high priest (Hebrews 8:1). In the Old Testament, the high priest represented the people before God. In the same way, Christ represents us before God today. Our identity is found in Him. Because we are in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17), God views us as He views Jesus – completely loved, accepted, and cherished, with unshakable right standing before Him.

This Easter, may you rejoice in the knowledge that our Savior is risen. May God give you an even greater revelation of all that His death and resurrection mean for you today. Have a wonderful and Happy Resurrection Day!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Rest In His Finished Work

Rest In His Finished WorkJohn 19 is all about Jesus’ death. He gave His life for us at the cross, that we might be reconciled to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), and given eternal life (John 3:16).

In John 16:30, before He dismissed His spirit, Jesus utter the words “It is finished.”

 

 

The price was paid.

God’s anger against sin had been satisfied in full.

Our sins had been dealt with, and forgiveness provided for us.

The way was made open for us to become God’s children.

Eternal life was made ours, if we would believe in Him.

Jesus’ death put an end once and for all to mankind’s need to struggle and strive to gain acceptance before God. He bore in full the penalty for all of our wrongdoings, and God’s fiery judgement and wrath against them, and declared that it is finished. From that point on, salvation has been freely offered to us, belonging to all who will receive it.

When Jesus said that it was finished, He meant it. There’s nothing left for us to do, no price left for us to pay. Instead of living under the old covenant of the law, we now live under the new covenant of God’s amazing grace. Let’s rest in His finished work!