Last year and the years before that, the grass in our courtyard and around the parking lot was full of dandelion flowers, with a few clover ones interspersed. This spring, however, the balance between them started to shift, and today, much to my surprise, I noticed the dandelions are all gone and have been replaced by a carpet of white clover.



Consider how the lilies grow: They do not labor 
or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all 
his glory was adorned like one of these.
(Luke 12:27 BSB)

The flowers in my neighborhood have been so pretty these last few months. I'd never really noticed that there was a sequence to their blooming before. Since the weather is pretty much the same in late spring and early summer, I wonder why that is? How do they know when it's their turn to show off?

Now seems to be the turn of the lilies and magnolias. Wonder what comes next.

At first I didn't realize these were magnolia flower buds. To me they looked like Christmas tree lights, except why would anyone have Christmas lights up in June?



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--AWARE  
Five minutes to free write about it
There are things I've missed out on because I wasn't aware they were happening until after the fact. There are benefits I didn't get to enjoy because I wasn't aware I was entitled to them.

Once upon a time, when I was young and deeply steeped in the occult and New Age, I thought I had finally found all the answers that had so long eluded me in my search for roots, purpose, and the meaning of life. I wasn't aware that I was wrong.

The doctrine of karma provided a perfectly plausible explanation of why the misfortunes in my life had happened to me and what lessons I needed to learn this time around; astrology offered answers to who I was and why I was here; and the Eastern path I became initiated into added the promise of a savior who would take me out of the cycle of reincarnation and lead me back to God. What more could I want or need? I had peace, I had joy, and I had confidence that I would be spending eternity with God. No one could have convinced me otherwise, not even the Christian acquaintance who did her best to witness to me. The more she told me I needed Jesus and that He was the only way to eternal life with God, the more pity and frustration I felt at her inability to understand that He was not.

I haven't been keeping track of the time, so probably my five minutes are over, but let me just end by saying that through a series of events that I've written about in my book SINCERELY WRONG: AN IMPROBABLE JOURNEY, the Lord did not leave me where I was. He opened my eyes and made me aware that what I believed was true had really been a lie. I'm so grateful He rescued me from out of the darkness, and set me on the right track.
Excerpts copied from the AFTERWORD of my book:

Were I to see you headed [unaware] towards some imminent danger, such as a cavernous hole in the sidewalk, it would be unconscionable of me not to warn you about it, and I would not hesitate to do so, even yanking you aside if necessary. . . . Don't be deceived, as I was, into thinking that there are many paths to God, or that we get to Heaven by being good. Although we were created to have fellowship with the Lord, Adam and Eve's sin caused us to be born into a fallen world. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and in Romans 6:23, that "the wages of sin is death." Because of sin, a vast gulf sepaates us from our Heavenly Father, and there is no way we can cross it through our own efforts. Only one path can lead us to eternal life, and that is Jesus, "The way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]" (John 14:6).

The good news is that "God so loved the world [you and me included] that He gave His only begtten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). . . . This gift of salvation that is being anded to you can only be received by grace,hrough faith. I cannot be earned by good works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and as much as it is not God's will for anyone to perish, He will not impose His will on you or force you to accept it. The choice is yours.



The flowers are springing up, the season of 
singing birds has come, and the cooing of 
turtledoves fills the air.
(Song of Solomon 2:12 NLT)

Walking has been hard for me to do lately, so these are mostly pictures of flowers in my neighborhood that caught my eye as I was out and about (in my car).

First came the pansies and some of the biggest, most beautiful tulips I have ever seen.

Then the azalea bushes and dogwood in front of the library came full bloom, as did the lavender bordering the parking lot of my complex, and the dandelion and clover flowers that are still dotting the courtyard grass.

The bright pinks of the hdrangeas growing outside my physical therapist's office bulding added much cheer to my day, as did the colorful rhododendron bush and roses I captured on my way home.

To my regret I did not stop the car and pull over the day I spotted a patch of spectacular irises. My back hurt, I was tired, and I just wanted to get home and lie down. "I'll come back later," I promised myself, but alas, "later" turned into a week, and by then they were all dead. However, there were still many roses blooming (including some hybrid ones) and a few peonies and clematis as well.



is post was written for Five Minute Friday
Word prompt--GUESS  
Five minutes to free write about it
This week's prompt sent my mind spinning in many directions. First, to some pictures of flowers that never got published on my blog because I couldn't guess what they were.

Google wasn't much help, so I posted a query on a plant identification page on Facebook and the consensus was "hybrid Mozart roses." Now even though this answer came from experts, I found it hard to accept because to my eyes and intellect those flowers did not look like roses in any way, shape, or form. The next thought was, "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Bible tells us not to be led by our senses because they can deceive us, which I've seen played out several times when I didn't follow driving instructions to the tee because something didn't look 'correct'.

My final thought may not seem relevant to this post at all, but life has been pretty lifey these last couple of months, and the above verse made me think of Psalm 119:105--"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (NLT)." It reminded me that no matter how uncertain or scary things may look in the natural, of one thing we can be sure, for those who trust in the Lord, we have nothing to fear. God's promises are true, and they eliminate the need for guesswork or doubt. His Book tells us how the story ends.

For God so loved the world that he gave his
one and only Son, that whoever believes in 
him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 NIV)




Did you ever wonder WHY the chicken crossed the road?

This text and FB post made me smile today. Hope they make you smile as well.

Love these. They remind me of an old Art Linkletter show from way, way back in the day (Kids Say the Darndest Things).