Tag Results For :: "beauty"




A Prayer for Abigail

August 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

— Jim Elliot

Image

God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

— Psalm 119:33-40, The Message

Abigail had an amazing moment last night when she was the first graduate to enter the auditorium, both hands waving. As she wheeled across the stage at the Frank Erwin Center in downtown Austin, the highlights of her life’s journey filled my heart. Through it all, God has strengthened and sustained this remarkable young woman. Her life portrays a shining picture of His beauty and grace.

Lord, bless all of us who rely on Your strength in our weakness. Smooth the path ahead as we travel the road You lead us on. Thank you for the life, the hope, and the peace you alone give. May Your joy be ours—in Christ, we pray.   

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/user/evansinaustin?feature=results_main]



Butterfly Walk

April 23rd, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all the beauty came from.” – C. S. Lewis

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center was brimming with color yesterday and there were butterflies everywhere! As I looked through my viewfinder, these are some of the pictures I saw.



Loved and Known

April 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , ,

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

— Timothy Keller

Image

Each morning, as we open our eyes and immediately begin reviewing our thoughts, where will we direct our attention? Will it be toward yesterday’s accomplishments and concerns, today’s to-do list, tomorrow’s goals and expectations? Or will we open our hearts in gratitude and wonder to the One who loves us best of all?

Every day, we can have this fresh realization: Our Father knows and loves us, and it’s by what we receive from Him that we come to more fully know and truly love one another .

 

“I know every one of your problems. I know your need and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I will tell you again that I love you — not for what you have or haven’t done — I love you for you, the beauty and dignity my Father gave you by creating you in his own image….

“I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you: I thirst for you. I thirst to love and be loved by you — that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to me, and fill your heart and heal your wounds….

“No matter how far you may wander, not matter how often you forget me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to remember always, one thing that will never change: I thirst for you — just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in my love, for it will be your belief in my love that will change you. You forget me, and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day — standing at the door of your heart, and knocking….

“Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit: ‘No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake.’

“Come to me with your misery and your sins, with your trouble and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to me, for I thirst for you.”

— Mother Teresa (1910-1997)



Morning Colors

April 17th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“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? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied withgettingso you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” — Matthew 6:30-33, The Message
 

Image

After visiting the Lady BIrd Johnson Wildflower Center for a photo shoot, I closed my eyes for a moment. Nothing in my closet or in any clothing store can compare with to the colors I saw this morning, lit by the sunlight under a cloudless blue sky.

Lord, You are my portion and my peace. Will you help me keep remembering where to find true beauty?

 

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty: believe me. That angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence. Our joys too: be not content with them as joys. They too conceal diviner gifts. Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then, to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country on our way home.

—Fra Angelico (1387-1455)

 



Both Sides

April 4th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Image

Take a good look at God’s work.

Who could simplify and reduce Creation’s curves and angles

To a plain straight line?

On a good day, enjoy yourself;

On a bad day, examine your conscience.

God arranges for both kinds of days

So that we won’t take anything for granted.

I’ve seen it all in my brief and pointless life—here a good person cut down in the middle of doing good, there a bad person living a long life of sheer evil. So don’t knock yourself out being good, and don’t go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won’t get anything out of it.

But don’t press your luck by being bad, either. And don’t be reckless. Why die needlessly? It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.

—  Ecclesiastes 7:13-18 MSG

 

Standing underneath this rose-covered arbor at Zilker Park offers such a different view of the vines than looking at the same flowers only from above. On one side, the roses seem darker, less colorful; the air is cooler, more moist. On the other, a cascade of yellow buds and blooms covers the surface, spectacularly enhanced by the noonday sun.

Solomon’s words urge me to take a step back, walk around slowly, consider the beauty of different vantage points, and direct my gaze from a variety of existing angles, regardless of whether I’m pondering a rose garden’s delights or the depths of my heart.