Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snapshots For His Glory -- Psalm 4:8

Don't allow your worries, fears and anxieties to keep you up all night.  

Cast ALL your cares on our Lord -- and find peace and rest in Him.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Your Grace Finds Me -- Matt Redman

"But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life -- even though we were buried under mountains of sin -- and saved us by His grace." ~ Ephesians 2:4-5, The Voice

My friends -- if you are feeling lost and alone....let His grace find you.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snapshots For His Glory -- 1 John 1:7

For anyone keeping up with me here on the blog, you may have noticed my posts have been sporadic for many months. I just haven't felt many 'nudges' from the Holy Spirit to share any lessons or messages via the written word as much as I used to.

However, that's not to say that He hasn't been moving and inspiring me in other ways and through other venues -- like photography!

I didn't grow up with a desire nor a love for taking photos. Oh sure, I took pictures of friends, concerts and such growing up, using my dad's Brownie camera or my own Polaroid One Step (showing my age here!); and then of course, years later, loads of pictures of my children with those lovely little disposable cameras. But to be honest, I was notorious for blurry pics and shots with people's heads chopped off (for me, disposable cameras = disposable photos), so more often than not, if someone placed a camera in my hand, I was more than happy to pass it right on back to them or to someone else! 

It's not to say I didn't enjoy capturing those 'Kodak moments' in life -- I just knew I was really lousy at doing so! 

There was no 'Aha!' moment for me; nor did I experience some grand epiphany where a chorus of angels sang and I suddenly realized photography was to become some sort of 'calling' for me. I do, however, remember that after my husband let me borrow his digital camera several years ago while on a beach vacation, I became aware I was actually ENJOYING capturing the beauty all around me on land, sea and sky, and found myself looking forward to seeking out more and more of these peaceful and joy-filled instances.

My husband took note of this, and to my great surprise (read TOTAL SHOCK), bought me two digital cameras and accompanying equipment last year.

Gradually and quietly came moments when, after downloading a bunch of photos and viewing them, a Scripture verse would suddenly come to mind for a particular shot. Or, while reading, I'd come across an inspiring, meaningful quote and think, "Hey, I've got a picture somewhere that would go along perfectly with this!" 

Hence, my most recent delight in combining God's Word, as well as the words of godly people, with His glorious works of art. 

Devotional times of worship with a camera -- who knew??

No, I have no intentions of turning In The Shadow Of His Wings into strictly a photo blog. But hopefully, once a week or so, I'd like to share one of the sights and Scriptures (or faith-filled sayings) that God has inspired me to create.

Sometimes -- along with me -- you'll find in certain photos that God is practically SHOUTING AND SINGING OUT LOUD of His love for you and His desire to bless, captivate and encourage you, through the vivid colors of a bird's feathers, a flower's petals or a rainbow, and the glorious brilliance of His sunrises, sunsets and radiant moon risings.

And other times, He'll gently take you aside, sit alongside you, and reveal Himself quietly to you in the most mundane and common pictorial moments -- a door, a table, some rocks, a tree stump or a concrete pathway through a park.

Call it a ministry, if you like. Whatever it is, it's my great joy to be able to share these little snapshots and snippets of faith to encourage, inspire, offer hope or to bring comfort, peace and God's blessings to anyone who stops by here to visit. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

One Word 2014 -- Wait

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.~Psalm 62:5, NLT

So here we are in 2014 and my new year is off to an interesting start. 

New Year’s Eve our washing machine decided it had enough of our family and promptly rolled over and died. Leaving behind a mountain of dirty laundry that needed to be done before my son headed back to work and my daughter to school.

New Year’s Day found me washing said mountain of dirty laundry at a Laundromat in a part of town where people generally try to drive, walk or run through as quickly as possible. Moving targets aren’t as easy to hit, don't you know? (NOTE: since I wrote this, a brand new, working washer has found a happy home in our basement!)

Ironically, it’s the same Laundromat where, in my younger, wilder, darker and much uglier days, I could be found doing my laundry on New Year’s Day, but always with the extra 'benefit' of a humongous alcohol and/or drug hangover. Never let it be said that God doesn’t have an offbeat sense of humor. I’d like to think this was His way of reminding me, on this very first day of a brand new year, of where I once was so long ago, and how far He’s brought me.

With this brand new year comes the challenge of a brand new One Word for 2014. If you’re new to blogging or to the One Word concept or just have NO FLIPPIN’ IDEA WHAT THIS CRAZY WOMAN IS BABBLING ABOUT, please follow this link for the 411:

I’ve questioned, wrestled with, discarded accepted the One Word God chose for me to focus on for this year. But first, a few thoughts on last year’s word – Simplify.

Personally, I feel as if this word and everything that came with it was an epic fail for me. There were many times, whether consciously or unconsciously, I made choices that actually caused my life to become more complicated than simplified. 

Because really -- simplifying my life wasn’t only about going through my closets and cabinets, drawers and shelves, and removing all unnecessary clutter. It had to go deeper. Much deeper. Like going through the recesses of my mind, my heart and my soul and removing all the unnecessary clutter from THOSE PLACES.

Interestingly enough, in the final weeks of 2013, someone pointed out to me that God Himself was doing those very things (talk about your 11th hour redemption!), and I watched in (sometimes) silent awe as He scaled back or removed entirely much of what had become unnecessary and even harmful to my growth. It's a painful pruning process, this going back to the drawing board; this being sent back to Square One.

Simplify. Indeed.

This year, I’m aware I need to be more ‘hands off’ with my life while I allow God to be much more ‘hands on’ with it. Which brings me, in a roundabout sort of way, to my One Word for 2014:


There are SO many other words out there. Stronger, cooler, more vibrant and hope-filled, sacred-sounding words.  Words that people will relate well with and perhaps shout AMEN! to upon reading them. 

But….‘Wait?’ Really now? Nobody wants nor likes to wait. Not in our gotta-have-it-now, what’s taking SO DANGED LONG, ain’t NOBODY got time for ‘dat, Instagram society.

Wait -- it’s like a dirty, four-letter word to some.  Yet I believe it’s so much more than

  • drumming well-manicured nails on a table top
  • tapping an Ugg or Nike encased foot on the floor
  • heaving a dramatic Irish sigh, complete with major eye rolling

Wait. One small word, heavy and rich with meaning, encompassing some rather large life lessons for me. Like learning to:

  Be still
Be patient
 Have faith
        Hold fast
      Be at peace

Yes, there are so many other words out there that could have been chosen. Words I would rather have chosen myself. 

Because I don’t like to wait. I don’t do being still very well. Patience has NEVER been my virtue of choice. I have major trust issues. I’m often rebellious (understatement). I tend to be the exact opposite of what Jesus’s brother, the apostle James, reminds us we should be in James 1:19 – I’m slow to listen, yet quick to speak instead.  Too often I equate resting with being lazy, unproductive. My faith can get pretty anemic at times. My grip is weak. Peace is a much desired, yet foreign concept for me.

But it’s the word that the Lord seemed to handpick for me this year. Because as you can clearly see from my 'confessions' above, it’s pretty obvious I NEED it.

Wait. Wait before I speak. Wait before I act. Wait before I write. Wait before I hit 'Send.'  And after I've asked for help and guidance from the Lord -- wait for His answers before moving forward.

Wait. It should be quite the interesting year.

Wait for the LORD. Be strong and don't lose hope. Wait for the LORD.~Psalm 27:14, NIRV

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