Photos From Friends: Love We Must

It’s been a difficult week. Too much darkness and too many sorrows.
Our hold on our love for life, perhaps a weak grasp.
But love we must.
Love we must.
 holding life
THE THING IS…
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, *How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

ELLEN BASS in “Mules of Love” © 2002, BOA Editions, Ltd.

Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 MSG

Linda CrawfordEmbracing life, running the race with you to win.

Linda Crawford

Photos from Friends: Seeing the Beauty

the leaf that wants all the attention

the leaf that wants all the attention

Who out there has a lust for life? Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty? Psalm 34:12 MSG

A camera and a whisper from God sent me on a journey last spring . . . searching for beauty in the pain.

These are the unedited photos I took around my house–as far as I could walk at the time. I saved them in a folder on my computer, entitled  it “small victories” and gave them the captions you read here.

These pictures became the evidence of my small victories–the smallest of small baby steps away from pain and darkness into the light and life of healing.

This is the day God started to color my dark world beautiful. The day the simple, ordinary views of my life became extra-ordinary glimpses of the beauty of LIFE all around me.

This is the day I understood the scripture above–that to recover my lust for life–to experience my pain and darkness redeemed–was about eagerly searching each day for the beauty OF LIFE.

Psalm 23:6 says that God’s love and beauty chase after us every day of our lives.

This spring day last year, I finally turned around to see it.

inanimate curves of life

inanimate curves of life

pink from dry leaves

pink from dry leaves

green and growing

green and growing

growing in the clouds effects

growing in the clouds effects

necklace for a dead flower

necklace for a dead flower

grids of life

grids of life

buddies

buddies

the designs of life

the designs of life

outside the frame of life

outside the frame of life

Beauty in blues

Beauty in blues

Walk on a rainbow trail: walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty.

There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.   – Robert Motherwell

Praying for you to turn around and see the beauty and love of God chasing you, where you will find your rainbow trail, and where God colors your life beautiful each and every day.

Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

More Photos from Friends:

Focus

The Kingdom's Perfumery

Photos from Friends: The Kingdom’s Perfumery

“And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3

Crushed Roses

This picture has a story to tell.

Moments before it was taken, these pink rose petals were floating on breezes perfumed with their own delicate scent.  Rose petal bundlesThey wouldn’t have been aware that within days their petals would fade and fall to perfume only a limited piece of ground.

rose distillationBut now, in the Master Perfumer’s hand, they will join 10,000 pounds of other petals and one pound of pure rose oil will emerge from the crush and distillation.

Dearest beloved, fear not!

You are part of a great distillation going on in the  Kingdom’s Perfumery.

You will only lose that which is not eternal. 

And once that which would fade is gone you will join that glorious fragrance so powerful that it fills the whole house.

“For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 1 Cor. 2:15

Rejoice!

BinseyBinsey

Binsey, aka Carolyn, founded Two Trees Ministries with her husband in 2008, a ministry teaching the Body of Christ to unlearn their affection for the knowledge of good and evil and learn to eat from the Tree of Life, which is Christ. She also shares life-giving expressions of faith on her blog, Tree Thoughts.

 

More Photos from Friends posts:

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

Focus
Focus

The Tree

The Tree

Photos: The Tree

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NLT

I was walking alone among these giants…

A Walk

In a rare, fluid moment of breath, heart, and time…
a single tree spoke.

a tree speaks

The tree a sittree breath

I returned the embrace of the arms that held me.

I rested.

a tree's delight

Feathery light moments passed…then…ever so gently…
a breeze interrupted with a prickly gray mist,
and the tree whispered a nudge.

remember

Heaven retreated.
The tree was voiceless.
My breath breathed of earth, yet…I felt whole, happy, and free.

I’d rested in the arms of home.

And there’s no other place I’d rather be.

© Linda CrawfordLinda Crawford

 

Friends Photo: Focus

Today’s photo theme is “Focus” and comes from a new blogger friend, Jim, who shares beauty and wisdom that inspires me each day at his blog: jimfields.wordpress.com

What does “Focus” mean to you?

Sometimes focusing on the details can be rather abstract, confusing, or maybe details just don’t let us see the true beauty.  Details can be choppy, crude or even obscure.

When that happens, when the big picture gets lost in the details, we have to step back and look from a different vantage point to see with more clarity.

In other words sometimes the greater beauty is seen in the big picture where the details combine and fit together.

The details of life are the moments, the efforts, the work, the play, the things that happen to us or for us.  The larger picture is our goals, where we’re headed in life, what we look forward to…And sometimes life distracts us from the larger picture – usually because we are so intent looking at how to make the best of the moment, or because things don’t always go the way we plan.

The same is true in our religious life.  The detail is the life we live day-to-day and the effort we make at helping God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  The larger picture is people, mission is people…It is helping people see the beauty in the life of Jesus Christ, the mind of God.

A balanced Christian life is living the details all the while keeping an eye to Jesus.  Sometimes we can see clearly up close…other times to see clearly we have to back off and broaden our vision.

Peace,

Jim FieldsJim

 

Popular Past Friends Posts:

Winter Beauty

Winter Beauty

Love Redeemed

Love Redeemed

Friends Photos: Love Redeemed

Today’s theme is “Love Redeemed” and comes from my dear  friend Melody, who shares the beauty minute she discovered in the memory of one very un-beautiful Valentine’s Day.

What does “Love Redeemed” mean to you?

Valentine’s Day Rewind: Love Redeemed

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Broken HeartIt was on this “day of love” eleven years ago that I discovered my husband had not only purchased gifts for my daughters and me, but also for another woman.

While I have forgiven him many times for his decision to walk away permanently, there is always the memory that pops into my mind on Valentine’s Day.

So where is the beauty?

It is the power of Christ to make all things new.

Love Redeemed: Melody and Jon - married September 2011

Love Redeemed: Melody and Jon – married September 2011

It is the faithfulness of God to work all things together for good.

It is in knowing that what the enemy meant to steal, kill, and destroy, God turned into a beautiful masterpiece.

There’s a beauty minute in today’s memory that I choose to gaze upon joyfully.

God’s love redeems.

~Melody

Friends Photo: Winter Beauty

Today’s theme is “Winter Beauty” and comes from my wonderful friend Niki, who went looking for beauty in a winter season of life.

What does “Winter Beauty” mean to you?

Burning Within Us

For the past three years life was extremely hard; several people I cared for deeply were struggling with mental illness. It was a dark, terrifying, lonely road; there’s not much help out there.

But in the midst of it, one day God told me to take a picture of a flower. As I did, I was amazed to see His face smiling back at me through my camera lens. He took my breath away, He was so beautiful!

For a moment I stepped outside my pain and captured a sparkling glimpse of God’s amazing, graceful beauty. It gave me hope. I so desperately needed hope.

Winter was hard though; everything was dead, it was so depressing!  But recently I heard this:

Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all. Stanley Horowitz.

So, I went out to find etchings, and the image above is one of the results.

God took a leaf-less, barren tree and, with software magic, brought it to life with a glowing beauty

Just like the Holy Spirit does with our broken hearts and lives.

The Lord came…

To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Isaiah 61:3

 Burning within truly does reveal a crown of beauty.

NikiNiki Moran is a 50-year-old (yikes!) single woman living in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is a Project Manager by day and is reconnecting with her artistic roots by night. Her blog is the creative outlet for her writing, photography, and love of Jesus: www.GleaningtheNuggets.com. She is honored to share a Beauty Minute! Thank you, Linda!