My New Toy… I Mean Tool

This is a big “THANK YOU” to the whole family for investing in my life in a great way a few months ago. Family members went together to give me a camera as a gift – and I have been putting it to use ever since. Of course I’m always taking pictures of bees, so the “macro lens” has been perfect. Here are a few pictures. Thank you family!

Chickadee eating Staghorn Sumac berries in February-2014 Wild Clamatis (Virgin's Bower) seeds in March-2014

Sumac and Virgin’s Bower are both great bee plants…

Red Maple Bloom, April 2-2014 (Notice trees in background too.) Red Maple Bloom (Greenish pollen on anthers)

Honey Bee working Red Maple, April 2, 2014 Note pollen on bee's "pollen baskets"I’ve always wanted to get some pictures of Red Maple Bloom. God even blessed me with a honey bee to come by the same branches I was standing on, close enough for me to snap a few photos!

The camera has also been useful in documenting other beekeeping events which can be using in teaching. Here are two pictures of a dead honey bee colony showing the cause of death…

Good-sized cluster - why did they die? Shaking the bees off revealed the brood they would not leave.

The photo on the left shows a good sized cluster of bees with a marked queen in the center, and not a bit of food in any of the surrounding comb. This cluster was in the lower of the two brood chamber boxes. The box on top contained honey, and the bees had consumed some of it – but the whole cluster had not migrated up to where they needed to be to avoid starvation. Why did they remain in the lower box to starve? Shaking the bees off the frame revealed a patch of brood that they refused to abandon (right photo). Don’t that just tear yer heart t’pieces?

But death is not the end for the children of God who sacrifice themselves for others. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:10-12

“And behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” – Revelation 22:12

Honey Bee on Crocus, March 2014 With Resurrection Day less than a week away, I want to say “…thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

The Circle Maker

This book by Mark Batterson was a huge encouragement to my prayer life! I would recommend it to everyone! It is overflowing with personal illustrations and inspiring scripture. Here a few quotes from the book:

“All of us love miracles. We just don’t like being in a situation that necessitates one. We hate finding ourselves between an Egyptian army and a Red Sea, but this is how God reveals His glory.”

“You can’t half-circle the promise. It’s a package deal. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing to accept closed doors, because one leads to the other”

“I’m not talking about the kind of prayer that is the first thing on the agenda; I’m talking about the kind of prayer that is the agenda… I can’t help but wonder what would happen if more staff meetings turned into prayer meetings.”

“I learned that if you aren’t willing to put yourself in ‘this is crazy’ situations, you’ll never experience ‘this is awesome’ moments”

“One of the reasons we get frustrated in prayer is our ASAP approach. When our prayers aren’t answered as quickly or easily as we would like, we get tired of circling. Maybe we need to change our prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes.”

“Exodus 14: ‘Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.’ I just didn’t know we would have to stand still for a year and  a half… We searched high and low for a year and a half, but we found nothing. It was discouraging because we were working like it depends on us and praying like it depends on God, but it was encouraging for the same reason. We had peace because we were praying through. We knew that our inability to find an alternate meeting space wasn’t for lack of trying or lack of praying… After a year and a half of standing still, the second and third miracles happened in less than one week. God did a double miracle in double time.”

“Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can. Draw the circle.”

 

Click here to see a little peek into the fun I’ve been having recently with my nieces!

With Sauntina at the Shedd Aquarium to celebrate Daniel's birthday!

Why is there Pain and Suffering in the World?

20140315_094114[1]Good friends encourage you to do good things. I was recently encouraged to join a group of friends passing out tracts in downtown Chicago the day of the St. Patric’s Day parade. As sometimes happens, this opened up conversation with a man who wanted to talk about spiritual things. I had trouble discerning  if he was really seeking the Lord or if just loved to debate, but either way it showed me that I needed to be better able to explain why there is 20140320_125304[1]suffering in the world. So, while it didn’t come to me soon enough to share it with this dear man in Chicago, I would like to share this parable here:

Say folks come to live in my house. Since I am loving, I do not force them to eat everyday – I give them the choice. Some choose not to eat and there is sickness, malnutrition, and even death in my house. I plead with them to eat and assure them there will always be a place for them at my table.

Someone looks in the window, sees the suffering and says, “She is such a mean, terrible person to allow that to happen in her house!” Someone else looks in the window and realizes the sickness is the result, somewhere along the line, of choosing to reject my love.

20140322_094126[1]Our grandparents are such an encouragement to us! What a privilege to stop and visit with them. :)Special dinner before Jenny left. We miss you, Jenny!

I would be interested to know how each of you would you revise or expound on this parable. Feel free to leave a comment. Smile

God Leads His Dear Children Along

I have been thinking a lot recently about seeking the Lord to know Who He is instead of just seeking His hand of direction. The following picture really put it into perspective for me:

There is a split in the road ahead just beyond where the Shepherd is walking. At his feet, a bunch of little woolly sheep are bouncing along the path. They sense Him begin to turn to the right and automatically turn that way as well thinking more about staying at His side than noticing so much where they are going. The Shepherd’s quite voice saying “This is the way” is not stressed or loud. His hand pointing to the right is clearly understood when seen from the same angle.

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But not all the sheep are quite this close. One is following an older sheep that is following the Shepherd. Unexpectedly, the older sheep is no longer right in front of the younger sheep. This causes a little panic in the younger sheep’s life until he realizes he can follow the Shepherd directly now.

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20140301_122131[1]Another sheep is following from a distance. He’s worried about which way to go.  He is straining to hear and his perspective of where he thought he saw the Shepherd pointing didn’t make any sense.  How would you advise him? To ask harder for directions or move a little closer?

 

 

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Encouragement from Ephesians

Can you find our mailbox in this picture? :)For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Eph. 2:18

I have really been enjoying my new phone! One of the great things about it is that the calls are free when I have internet access. This little surge of happiness springs up whenever I realize I have access but I don’t always have access. This has been a reminder to me to appreciate the constant access I have to the Source that matters many times more to the well-being of life. Because of Jesus, I have unlimited access to my Heavenly Father!

Out with Daniel for my birthday!20140212_195719[1]20140208_094637[1]

Ephesians is such a delightful book to dwell on. It speaks of acceptance, adoption and access to our Father.

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A Few Good Links:

Living the Journey
Hear exciting reports from changed lives who have experienced the power of God on a Journey to the Heart!
Insitute in Basic Life Principles
Giving the world a “new” approach to life!

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