A Puritan Prayer

O God of the highest heaven,
   Occupy the throne of my heart,
   Take full possession and reign supreme,
   Lay low every rebel lust,
   Let no vile passion resist thy holy war;
Manifest Thy mighty power
   And make me Thine forever.
Thou art worthy to be  
   Praised with my every breath,
   Loved with every faculty of soul,
   Served with my every act of life.
O help me then to walk worthy of Thy love.
                                      -A Puritan Prayer


Things Of Beauty, Things of Joy

 I won't go into the reasons of why it has been difficult to post anything recently, that would take too much time and effort. I have taken so many pictures since we returned to Brazil...more than I care to admit...that I hardly know where to begin to be organized! But who needs to be organized? That's not an outstanding forte of mine, probably never will be although I do admire it in others.

But I'm getting sidetracked. 

If it weren't for God's creation (and photography), our return to this wonderful land across the ocean would have been much more difficult. These things have brought me so much joy that I can't describe the half of it. I can't imagine having gone through the first several days here without these and I do thank the Lord for them. 

Following, are some of the pictures I took during these wonderful moments of our first several days...

"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
 the oil of joy instead of mourning,
 and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
 They will be called oaks of righteousness,
 a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."
                                                    (Isaiah 61:3 NIV)


A New Year!

It's a New Year! Ok, so we're already ten days into it, I know. But with our major move having been made recently (back to Brazil), I've had very little time to spend on posting here. Just to show you that I'm still alive and well, I'd like to post one picture and verse. Hmm, maybe two or three pictures, thank you very much.  

On our first morning here (Dec 30th) I was awakened by some bird singing at the top of his voice. This silhouetted bird is not the one I heard but it's the only one I've been able to take these days of a bird that's obviously singing. And I love silhouettes so I figured you might, too.

Back to the bird...It's loud and cheerful song was so joyous I couldn't help but smile. It's as though it was saying, "Hey you, don't be sad. You can be happy here, too!" Interestingly, this is almost identical to what happened in '95 when we came back from a furlough. I think the Lord likes using His creatures to get messages across to us.

I have been getting reacquainted with my flowers and other plants these days after being away from them for one year and three weeks. Some are thriving, others are just surviving but very few have died. (Thanks to the young couple who cared for them!) Below are a couple of the flowers I've been busy snapping pictures of.

You can't tell by the photo but this is just a miniature rose, only an inch or so wide. Big in beauty, though! And make sure you click on this so you can see the very miniature bug on the left side. Hilarious.

These are "4 o'clocks". Do I need to explain why? I didn't think so.
This medium pink rose was just beginning to open when we arrived. To me it was a symbol of the New Year. Just to look at this bud we would never realize the full beauty that would eventually unfold. We do not know what waits for us during the next 365 days. But the same God who created this bud also created our lives. We can trust Him that He has planned and created them to perfection...just like this rose.

I do hope and pray that you are having a wonderful New Year. May this be our best one ever!

We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (II Thessalonians 1:12) NIV