Tag Archives: wonder

Creative Tuesdays – Amazing How Plants Grow

Creative Tuesdays – Amazing How Plants Growplants squash  copy

This is the challenge this week for Creative Tuesdays.

Do you have a porch, balcony or even just a kitchen windowsill? Chances are then at some point you’ve likely dabbled with growing plants from seed, potting flowers or even gathering herbs and so on — all the fun found in cultivating a CONTAINER GARDEN of your very own. Show us what you’ve done or what you’d like to see.

I looked back at my pictures of my garden at the very beginning. I planted these squash plants from seed directly into the garden. This year I planted my first vegetable garden in 20 years. It is called a square garden.  There is a fence because we live in wild life country. I have hungry deer and rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and skunks.

Here are some pictures:

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First the seedlings.

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Then building the garden. Fencing came later.

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Now the harvest.

The fruits of my labour – or should I say – vegetables.

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Isn’t that crazy?

From a tiny squash seed comes incredibly large plants and big squash. I find I am in wonder of that. How does that happen. How can all that information for growth be inside that little seed?

I looked up the mustard seed parable in The Message and guess what? it changed to a pine seed. That makes more sense to use in North America.

How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it (Matthew 3:30-32, The Message).

So looking at the pine seed, squash seed or mustard seed, we see that from small beginnings can come marvelous, incredible results. Jesus is explaining that His Kingdom will grow like that. It may seem slow to us but little by little people are growing in love, and knowledge of Jesus. It is hard work.

And as I think I realize that  my faith has come from one of the 12 disciples. I think about that. How far back can I trace my faith roots? Who came into my life to help me? Where did they come from? I wonder about these things.

But I also wonder about the amazing power of creation – small seeds – big trees. (tweet this)

Thanks again to Michael at Creative Tues who encourages his group to be creative. Even though I don’t like painting plants I found this whole exercise interesting as I studied the tiny sprouts and thought about they became the big squash plants.

Janis Cox

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Tadeo-Turtle-Cover-large-web

You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

DO I LIVE WITH A LID ON MY PRAYER LIFE?

Do I Live with a Lid on my Prayer Life?

by Janis Cox

I want to live FULLY AWAKE. The more I read from Margaret Feinberg’s book, Wonderstruck, the more I realize that I need:

“to expect God to show up with divine wonder” (Wonderstruck, Margaret Feinberg).

But am I playing it safe? Do I continue day after day – just doing what I do – and not looking or praying for wonder? Yes that is what I need to do – pray for wonder.

And I need not only pray for wonder but expect to receive it. (Tweet this.)

It reminds me of the time I studied Bruce Wilkinson’s Prayer of Jabez. We studied this little piece of Scripture from 1 Chronicles 4:10:

“”Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And Godgranted his request”” (1 Chronicles 4:10, NIV).

During the time we studied this little book and prayed for our territory to be expanded – amazing things happened.

Am I ready for this to happen again when I pray for and expect wonder? Am I ready to be a child again? and:

“live each day like a child digging through a treasure chest, riffling for the next discovery” (Wonderstruck, Margaret Feinberg).

This is what I am embarking on this week. Maybe you will join me – pick up a copy of Margaret’s book – and let’s be amazed at what God will show us.

Prayer:

Lord, as I start to lead this group study on Wonderstruck, I pray that you will guide our thoughts and minds to get closer to You. Help us to drop the world’s challenges, fears and doubts and lay open our hearts to see the wonder of You. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

Related articles

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters. Janis has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Janis’s Website.

SUNDAY STILLNESS – Romans 1:20

Sunday Stillness – Romans 1:20

Romans 1:20

 

Photo is courtesy of Jake Jakobsen.

 

How can there NOT be a God?

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, NIV).

People are without excuse – they just have to open their eyes to the wonder of God.

Today is Sunday Stillness – Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness.

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I will take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

Comments always appreciated. Linking with Jumping Tandem, and Scripture and a Snapshot.



 

WEDNESDAY’S WORD – Wonder

Wednesday’s Word – Wonder

“God invites us to look up, open our eyes to the wonder all around us, and seize every opportunity to encounter Him” (Wonderstruck, Margaret Feinberg). Tweet this.

Sunset by Jake Jakobsen

Photo is courtesy of Jake Jakobsen.

Wonderstruck – what an excellent book. I am being inspired by Margaret’s words.

When a painter, photographer friend handed me his poem “Good Morning, Lord”, I couldn’t help but see that he had been moved to see the wonder all around us.

I give you the poem today to help you to see God’s wonder in all parts of your day.

Good Morning, Lord

Good morning, Lord.
I look at the sunrise and I see you there,
The sun behind the clouds, light shining through the air.
Above the mountain in all its glory,
I see You there; I hear Your words, Your story.
I look at the ground and you’re there, I know.
I see Your wonders in the trees, in the flowers that grow.
I look in my heart and I feel Your love,
Shining in me as the sun shines above.

Good morning, Lord.
I look at the sky and see You in the new day.
I know if I need You, You’re never far away.
I see You in the animals, the fish, and birds that fly.
It brings joy to my heart and a tear to my eye.
I feel Your touch, Lord; I feel it in the breeze
As it touches my face, as it sings through the trees.
Know me, Lord, and let me know You.
Show me, Lord, what I should do.

Good evening, Lord
I see You there in the picture painted by the setting sun;
Your light shining through the clouds when day is done;
The sky glowing pink and yellow, turning the clouds’ edges gold;
In the beauty You’ve created, Your story being told.
Wherever I turn, whatever is still to be,
It is there, Lord; it is there wherever I look.
Your words are written before me like the Words in Your Book.

Good evening, Lord
I see You there as the evening falls before night;
Through the darkness I see You; I still see Your light.
It shines in the moon and the stars high above.
It shines through the dark; it shines with Your love.
I feel Your Presence as though near me You stand.
I feel You near me like the touch of a hand.
I look through the night; I look for Your face,
And in the wonder of Your love, I’ve found my place.

Written by James Amodeo 2002

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, NIV). (my emphasis)



SUNDAY STILLNESS – Do You Fear the Lord?

Do You Fear the Lord?

I read in Oswald Chambers the other day that maybe we don’t have enough awe or wonder about God. We sometimes treat Him flippantly.

“If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence” (Oswald Chambers, January 3rd).

Do we really know Who He is? Is our wonder big enough?

Do you fear the Lord?

Do you fear the Lord?

Do you fear the Lord?

Thanks to Cheri Swalwell for the picture.

ARE YOU WAITING?

Are You Waiting?

(reprinted from Under the Cover of Prayer)

by Janis Cox

Oh – to learn to slow down. A number of times in the past week I have read about “waiting”.

    • My Advent study from Margaret Feinberg – first week – WAIT.
    • A speaker at a women’s dinner said, “learn to unitask”.
    • Tadeo – my turtle goes slowly – something I need to learn.
    • Then I read Jesus Calling – “it is good to wait quietly” (Lamentations 3:26 NIV).

I took a deep breath. I sighed. Yes I do need to slow down or I will miss the waiting. This waiting for Christmas can be a Holy time if I let it.

I responded to Margaret’s words in Wonderstruck.

I particularly liked when she wrote about “Three Word Prayers”. I realized I needed to slow down my words to God. To release them ONE at a time.

Thank You God

Wonder. Power. Healing.

Search my soul.

Sense my being.

“Every word, every syllable, demanded mindfulness” (Wonderstruck, page 78).

“Three word prayers required me to reengage spiritual muscles that had long ago grown flabby” (Wonderstruck, page 80)”

Do I ramble at God like a nagging wife? Or do I slow it down and make each word count?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

That is what God said. Not chatter and beg – but be STILL.

So in this first week of Advent I have tried to be still. I have tried to seek the quietness that He wants. And you know what – it is good. I rested in Him.

The First Week of Advent

A time to wait
A time to listen to God
Still your hearts
Still your souls.

Slow down your thoughts
Focus on Him
Let distractions cease
[even for a few minutes]

Who is this God?
What is eternity?

“Be still
And know

I am God

Get to know Me.”

Breathe

God is LOVE
God knew you before you were born
God knows you now
God will know you forever!

Janis Cox 2012

“Modern man has lost the perspective of eternity. To distract himself form the gaping jaws of death, he engages in ceaseless activity and amusement” (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young).

Ceaseless activity VS Stillness in Him?

Which are you doing this Christmas?

I would love to hear from you.

Here is Chris Tomlin and Everlasting God (Wait Upon the Lord)

 

WONDERSTRUCK FOR THE THIRD TIME!

Wonderstruck for the Third Time!

My friend, Margaret Feinberg , has a new book and 7-session DVD Bible study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God ,which releases Christmas Day. This is a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. This book will turn your prayer life upside down, stir your desire to live more abundantly, and take your relationships with others to the next level. To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video.

Margaret Feinberg

Margaret recently posted a great warning on her site that those who have read Wonderstruck have experienced the following symptoms:

          • An inability to stop smiling
          • An uncontainable desire to pray
          • A loss of interest in judging others
          • A quiet, unshakable confidence in God
          • A renewed ability to see the wonders of God all around

And from what I’ve seen, they’re all true! I wanted to share some thoughts that stuck out to me as I read a sneak peek of Wonderstruck:

Each word means so much.

I have learned to pray for wonder.

I loved when she prays for “pixie dust”. [I used to be enamoured with the thought of “pixie dust”.] Margaret said:

“I want to leave here with a sense of wonderment as we encounter and experience things only God can do.”

And her outlook throughout this book is so positive and upbeat.

Listen to these words:

I praying for “pixie dust” was an invitation for God to lavish our team with a loving-kindness, and for each of us to walk more upright, eyes attentive to what God might do next. You can’t pray for “pixie dust” and maintain a dour demeanour or a dreary disposition.” [love it and the emphasis mine]

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter , Facebook  or her blog  You can learn more about this great book by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.

I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.95 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble for all you savvy shoppers.

And at Amazon.ca for $11.54 ($15.99 retail) on Amazon Canada.

Wonderstruck! by Margaret Feinberg

 So if you haven’t commented yet – please do – Where do you see the wonder? Are you looking for it?

WONDERSTRUCK A SECOND TIME!

Wonderstruck a Second Time!

Wow – Does this not make you wonderstruck?

My friend, Margaret Feinberg , has a new book and 7-session DVD Bible study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God  (releasing Christmas Day)—a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video: .

As you may or may not know, I’ve been recently become a fan of Margaret Feinberg and her books. I follow her on Twitter and Facebook. I recently received the insider’s scoop about Margaret’s new book.

Let’s meet Margaret Feinberg.

Margaret Feinberg

Here are some highlights from the interview: 

Where did the inspiration for the Wonderstruck book and Bible study come from?

Have you ever had one of those seasons where everything goes wrong, and when you think it can’t get worse, it somehow finds a way? Most people who have worked in ministry have experienced those seasons—some may be in one right now.

My husband, Leif, and I had just gone through one of the roughest years of our lives. In the aftermath, as we processed the pain and loss, I had an unexplainable desire in my heart. I began praying for the wonder of God.

In essence, I said:

“God reveal yourself, your whole self to me. I want to know you as Wonderful. I want to know you as I’ve never known you before and see you in places I’ve never recognized you before.”

God did not disappoint.

What do you mean by “the wonder of God”?

Sometimes talking or writing about wonder feels like tying kite strings to clouds. It’s ethereal, and you can never quite get a grip on it. But if you look in the dictionary, the two main definitions of wonder are: “being filled with admiration, amazement, or awe” and “to think or speculate curiously.”

Those definitions come together beautifully in our relationship with God. That’s why I define the wonder of God as those moments of spiritual awakening that create a desire to know God more.

In other words, the wonder of God isn’t about an emotional experience or having some cool story to tell your friends, but the wonder of God makes us want more of God—to go deeper and further than we’ve ever been before.

Why are you calling people to #LIVEWONDERSTRUCK?

If you look in the Gospels, what you’ll discover is that those who encountered Jesus were constantly left in wild amazement. They were awestruck by the teachings of Christ, the healings of Christ, the mind-bending miracles of Christ.

Within the Gospel of Luke we see words like “awe” and “wonder” and “marvel” at every turn. If this is the natural response to encountering Christ, how much more should it be for you and I—who are invited to live in relationship with Christ as sons and daughters of our God Most High?

We even created a free PDF that looks at some of these Scriptures. For a free copy, email us at wonderstruck@margaretfeinberg.com and we’ll send you one.

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter , Facebook , or her blog . You can learn more about this great book by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.

I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.57 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble  for all you savvy shoppers.

And at Amazon.ca for $11.54 ($15.99) on Amazon.

Wonderstruck! by Margaret Feinberg

 Are you looking for wonder in your life? How?

WONDERSTRUCK?

Wonderstruck?

Where have you experienced the wonder of God?

My friend, Margaret Feinberg , has a new book and 7-session Bible Study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God  (releasing Christmas Day)a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. Wonderstruck will help you:

      • Recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine
      • Unearth extraordinary moments on ordinary days
      • Develop a renewed passion for God
      • Identify what’s holding you back in prayer
      • Discover joy in knowing you’re wildly loved

To learn more, watch the Wonderstruck Video.

I have been reading the advance copy (first few chapters) and I am pursuing this slowly. That is something new for me who usually tries to do everything and munches quickly. But this book is actually taking me slowly into the wonder of God.

A quick little view of wonder in my life. Where have I seen the wonder of God? Giving you 5 today.

      • the wonder of birth – my firstborn – wow that was something
      • my first real view of the Grand Canyon (it is bigger than you can imagine)
      • a starlit sky from the dock of a cottage
      • the cooing of the birds in the trees 
      • finding Jesus – really finding Him for the first time – powerful

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter (#livewonderstruck), Facebook  or her blog.

Margaret Feinberg

You can learn more about this great book by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff.

I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.57 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble for all you savvy shoppers.

And at Amazon.ca for $11.54 ($15.99) on Amazon.

Wonderstruck! by Margaret Feinberg

So where have you seen the wonder of God in your life? 

SENSE OF WONDER IN PRAYER

Sense of Wonder in Prayer

by Judith Lawrence

“Prayer is the art of presence. Where there is no wonder there is little depth of presence. The sense of wonder is one of the key sources of prayer. Wonder at the adventure of being here is one of the special qualities of humans.…Sometimes in humans profound wonder can only be expressed in silence” (John O’Donahue Eternal Echoes Page 195)

Some years ago I wrote a poem titled “Guest of the World”. I have included it below as I think it sums up the sense of wonder that we have been given as humans and the prayer of thanksgiving for all that the Creator has given us in this world.

Guest of the World

As a guest of the world I want to see all its beauty; when I return to heaven I will tell of the white purity of snow, the delicate pastels of spring blossoms, the deep blue of the summer sky, the flaming reds and golds of autumn.

As a guest of the world I want to hear all its sounds; when I return to heaven I will tell about the sound of ocean waves crashing to the shore, the song of birds, the baby’s cry, the howl of wolves, the eerie night song of the spring peepers.

As a guest of the world I want to savour all its tastes; when I return to heaven I will tell of the sweetness of honey, the refreshing tang of an orange and the sourness of lemon. I will describe the burning heat of chilli peppers and the juicy delight of grapes from the vine.

As a guest of the world I want to touch all its textures; when I return to heaven I will tell of the roughness of a tree’s bark, the velvet softness of a cat’s fur, the prickliness of a rose’s thorns, the sting of a nettle.

As a guest of the world I want to smell all its scents; when I return to my heavenly home I will tell of the heady perfume of lilacs, the warning odour of a skunk, the smokiness of a wood fire, the moist earth after rain.

When I return to heaven I will tell of the wonders of the earth and the many blessings I was given as its guest. And I will thank the Creator for such an exciting and marvellous place, where I learnt so many new things. And like all weary travellers, however kind the hosts and enchanting the country, I will be glad to be home and give thanks for my safe return.

© Judith Lawrence

Judith Lawrence

Judith Lawrence lives in Muskoka, Ontario, a land of lakes, forests, and wildlife. She began to write seriously when she was in her fifties and has written three non-fiction spiritual books. Judith has also written a book of mystical poetry and one of short stories; she writes a weekly blog about contemplation and records a podcast meditationmonthly.