Saturday, April 30, 2016

Masterpiece


You and I are created in God's own image - perfectly and wondrously made!
- Genesis 1:27




Be blessed and be a blessing!






Photo taken at the Grand Canyon

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Lord is with Me...



You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

“You are with me.” Yes, you, Lord, are in heaven. Yes, you rule the universe. Yes, you sit upon the stars and make your home in the deep. But yes, yes, yes, you are with me.

The Lord is with me. The Creator is with me. Yahweh is with me.

Moses proclaimed it:” What great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us.” (Deut. 4:7 NLT)

Paul announced it: “He is not far from each of us” (Acts 17:27 NIV).

And David discovered it: “You are with me.” Somewhere in the pasture, wilderness, or palace David discovered that God meant business when He said: “I will not leave you” (Gen. 28:15).


God is always with you. How can this truth bring positive changes to your life?

Though we can't always see His hand moving, we can trust that God knows and sees every aspect of our lives, and he never stops working on our behalf. While our circumstances may change, God's attention and presence never do.



Lord, though I may not see Your hand at work, I trust that You are there to bring about what is best for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Egrets



E....is for Egret


The elegant Great Egret is a dazzling sight in many a North American wetland. Slightly smaller and more svelte than a Great Blue Heron, these are still large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds.


Great Egrets wade in shallow water (both fresh and salt) to hunt fish, frogs, and other small aquatic animals. They typically stand still and watch for unsuspecting prey to pass by. Then, with startling speed, the egrets strike with a jab of their long neck and bill.

Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Those feet seem to play a role in stirring up or herding small aquatic animals as the egret forages. Breeding Snowy Egrets grow filmy, curving plumes that once fetched astronomical prices in the fashion industry, endangering the species. Early conservationists rallied to protect egrets by the early twentieth century, and this species is once again a common sight in shallow coastal wetlands.

Snowy Egrets wade in shallow water to spear fish and other small aquatic animals. While they may employ a sit-and-wait technique to capture their food, sometimes they are much more animated, running back and forth through the water with their wings spread, chasing their prey.



The short, thick-necked Cattle Egret spends most of its time in fields rather than streams. It forages at the feet of grazing cattle, head bobbing with each step, or rides on their backs to pick at ticks. This stocky white heron has yellow plumes on its head and neck during breeding season. Originally from Africa, it found its way to North America in 1953 and quickly spread across the continent. Elsewhere in the world, it forages alongside camels, ostriches, rhinos, and tortoises—as well as farmers’ tractors.



A medium to large heron of shallow salt water, the Reddish Egret comes in a dark and a white form. It is a very active forager, often seen running, jumping, and spinning in its pursuit of fish


Photos taken at The Viera Wetlands, Gatorland, Black Point Drive

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Gift of Forgiveness


The Bible promises that when you ask God for forgiveness and trust in Jesus, you will experience new life in Christ.

ASK for forgiveness
BELIEVE in the gift of salvation
PRAY to confess you sin
RECEIVE Christ into you life

That 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. - Romans 10:9 (LEB)

Thank you Lord for the gift of forgiveness and everlasting life.

Be bless and be a blessing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Hazards of Success



Success has its hazards....We begin to trust in ourselves - our own abilities, position of influence, and resources, rather than God's. This has happen again and again throughout history.

In the Manual of Christian Discipleship, Eric Liddell wrote, "Love recognizes that every gift and talent comes from God. It recognizes the responsibility to use and develop these gifts but not to become proud, arrogant, patronizing or to give itself airs become of them."

The degree of success God is willing to allow in our lives depends upon our response to it. Will our success result in a prideful sense of independence and boasting in our accomplishments? Or will we allow the measure of success we enjoy to exalt the Lord?



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dandelion

D…is for Dandelion!


While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it is chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.

In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.
So far, there have not been any quality scientific studies on dandelion. Today, the roots are mainly used to stimulate the appetite, and for liver and gallbladder problems. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get rid of too much fluid.
Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic, increasing the amount of urine your body makes. The leaves are used to stimulate the appetite and help digestion. Dandelion flower has antioxidant properties. Dandelion may also help improve the immune system.
Herbalists use dandelion root to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, and dandelion leaves to help kidney function.
Wow, knew! Just goes to show – you never stop learning; I learn something new every day!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Cheryl



 Photo taken at the Titusville Wetlands, Florida

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Transformed




I love the way Romans 12: 2 reads in the Amplified Bible... And do not be conformed to this world (this age) [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the [entire] renewing of your mind(by it's new ideals and its new attitude) [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

This is it (along with the header) from the Message - let's strive to be different from the world; stopping blending in. Be the best you, you can be! In the words of Paul, let's turn our world up-side-down!

Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Cormorant -What's That?

C...is for Cormorant


Cormorants are fish-eating waterbirds with four webbed toes and members of the order of Pelecaniformes.  Because their feathers rapidly become saturated on contact with water, they enter water only to feed and bathe; after feeding they rest spread-winged on exposed perches to dry their plumage.




Double-crested Cormorants have bare chins and straight bills with hooked tips; they may be seen swimming, flying in untidy waving lines, or  standing on sandbars, posts or tree branches. They are common on clear open waters and rivers to open ocean. They roost in trees and on posts, rocks, and sandbars at water's edge.




Compared to Anhingas, Cormorants have shorter and bowed wings, shorter tails and exhibit much flapping. Perched birds give a hoarse grunting or wailing sounds, mainly at nest site. Adults in breeding season develop brighter bare-parts colors and some white plumes on head and neck.

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

God's Plans



For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV)

It's very easy when thinking about God's plan for our lives to have the attitude: "it's all about me." Yes, it's true that God cares about every intricate detail in our lives. In fact, Jesus said that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. We can also mistakenly think that God's plan is always going to be a "feel good" plan with the intent to make us happy. Jeremiah's message in these verses is actually radically different. He's writing to a group of people who were being held captive, and in exile from their homeland. He's writing to let them know that although they're no where they would have  expected, nor where they would have asked God to place them, God has not forgotten them and He still has plan for the lives. Even in the midst of a difficult situation, God wants them to know His plans.

God wants us to know, in the midst of difficult situations, He has a plan. He also wants us to know that as we submit to His plan that He desires to use us to bless the world around us. The key still remains during both good and difficult times: You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

How does God want you to be a blessing to others?

Monday, April 4, 2016

What are Bitterns?

Bitterns are classifications of the heron family; usually frequent the reed beds and similar marshy areas.

American Bittern



It’s cryptic plumage blends in with the vegetation. Always solitary. Feeds on fish and other aquatic animals. Movements slow and stiff; often stands with neck and bill pointed up. Flight usually low and direct; hunchbacked and long-headed. Gait very slow.



Least Bittern



Hides among the reeds in marshes. Most often seen clinging to reeds at the edge of small ponds, watching the water below for fish. Always solitary. Small size and buffy color distinctive. Sometimes flies short distances just above reeds.


Inside My Eye

A Look Inside My Eye – Before and After This week, on Wednesday May 24th, I went to the eye doctor and received some really good ...