New Every Morning- Spider, or Surprise, or Hurricane Lilies

Spider Lilies, or Surprise Lilies, or Hurricane Lilies

Spider Lilies, or Surprise Lilies, or Hurricane Lilies

Here’s one group of this year’s Spider Lilies. (Also known as Surprise Lilies or Hurricane Lilies).

You can see where the Spider comes from. I read some on the Surprise name – one thought is that they spring up just as a flower first, so you don’t see them coming, or they pop up in different places they weren’t in before. Hurricane denotes the time of year they bloom – and there’s even a tropical storm in the Gulf whose remnants are supposed to come through here in the next few days.

They are certainly ever faithful year after year – and new ones show up each year all over the beds and even in the yard. Reminded me once more of the wonderful passage from Lamentations. It makes it clear why we should hope and trust in the Lord.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV

Sure Signs of Faith

Budding Pecan Tree - Sure Sign of Spring

Budding Pecan Tree – Sure Sign of Spring

Want a sure sign that Spring is here? Then, look for the budding pecan  trees. They seem to be the last large trees around here (south Georgia) that bud out.

Want a sure sign of faith? Then look for the huge pecan trees and oak trees around the homesteads in the country. I don’t know how old this tree is, but it’s on the edge of our property and has obviously been there many years. And I do know that whoever planted it is not around to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But, they had the faith to plant it anyway.

That’s even more evident with slow growing live oaks. You can see one oak tree large enough to shade an entire house. Yet, the planters knew they wouldn’t be around when the tree reached that point. Again, they had the faith to plant it anyway – not necessarily for themselves but for generations to come.

Hebrews Chapter 11 is sometimes called the “faith” chapter because it speaks of the faith of a number of saints from Biblical times. Their acts exceeded the simple planting of a tree, but the concepts can be compared. Much of what we do, in faith today, will not have an effect until sometime in the future – whether it be tomorrow, next week, next year – or in a lifetime following ours. Chapter 12 refers to these witnesses (showing faith) and gives us instructions on how to join them as witnesses for the future generations.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Blessings from God – Birds

Closeup of Bird on Feeder

Closeup of Bird on Feeder

I thought I would try something new this year – Take pictures of birds and then figure out what kind they are. I know many of the species that live here but still hope to get some good pictures of them. And also get some that I don’t recognize – like this one. I could just say that’s a sparrow, since there are many different kinds of them. But, I don’t know. Can anyone identify it?

It’s good to try some new things now and then (although I do love being in some ruts). What comes to mind is the Bible telling us, in several places, to learn and sing a new song to the Lord. Always good to find new ways to praise Him. And I guess I can find out what the bird songs are and know to praise Him like they do.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!” Psalms 96:1 ESV

God Blessed the Garden, but the Cucumbers Had a Problem

Cucumber Failure

God really blessed my vegetable garden this summer. If you’ve followed my blog you’ve seen some of the pictures of zucchini, peppers, beans, etc. etc. I truly enjoyed the growing and eating!

But, the cucumbers had a problem. They were slow to sprout (some had to be replanted) and never made it as you can see from this picture. That was a surprise because last summer I couldn’t keep up with them. If I skipped even a few days of picking, they outgrew their good and became too large and tough with giant seeds.

Last year we had more than needed, so I was able to pass the extras around (and that’s one of the best blessings of a bountiful garden). But not this year. The vines looked like they had a disease or other malady but I don’t know what it was. I may try to do a little investigation before next year.

However, I am optimistic about next year. Even as the vines were sitting there fading away this year, I bought a neat frame with netting that the cucumbers can climb up and around. I won’t hesitate to try again with the hopes of numerous burpless cucumbers for eating and giving away.

Being a gardener (or a farmer, or many other undertakings) requires hope. We look forward to next week or next season, or next year with hope. That also follows our walk with Christ. But the “hopes” have different meanings.

I will hope for a good cucumber crop next year – and it may or may not happen.

I will put my hope in Christ in all things – and that hope is assured because of Who He is and what He has done for me. “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!” That’s a hope that will not fail.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Blessings from God – Moon Flowers

Moon Flower with Bugs

I found this one hiding in the bushes out behind the garden. I didn’t think we would have any this year but there it was! (and actually another one is now blooming on the fence.)

I don’t know what kind of bugs are on the flower, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s still spectacular. And wonderful is appropriate too. It’s one of the wonderful things our Lord has done.

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1 ESV

Blessings From God – Blackeyed Susan Vines

Blackeyed Susan Vine

A few years ago I planted Blackeyed Susan Vine seeds along one section of the back fence. They grew and flowered wonderfully that year and the following year self seeded and blanketed the fence section in yellow again. I didn’t plant any more seeds so the annual show declined.

This year I had not seen any, until last weekend when I saw a peek of yellow in one of the hydrangeas. A vine had come up in the bush and had made it to flowering. One of those unexpected blessings from God – even though I had done no work to help the plant along. Sound familiar?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV