Friday, March 30, 2018

Why Jesus Came

Hello Friends ~ I hope you all are enjoying preparing for Easter. I hope and pray that in the hustle and bustle of the holiday you will ponder the real reason behind this holiday.

This is my favorite holiday, it is ‘Resurrection Day’, a day of rejoicing.

I want to share here a devotional from John Piper’s Solid Joys daily devotionals, from 11 Dec. 2017 as to the ‘why’ of both Christmas and Easter. Jesus is God in the flesh, come to set people free, now and for all eternity. All who believe in Him will have life forever with Him. No more pain, no more tears, no more sin/evil, no more death. All will be joy forever, better than we can even imagine.

“Why Jesus Came”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

This, I think, is my favorite Advent text because I don’t know any other that expresses so clearly the connection between the beginning and the end of Jesus’s earthly life — between the incarnation and crucifixion. These two verses make clear why Jesus came; namely, to die. They would be great to use with an unbelieving friend or family member to walk them step-by-step through your Christian view of Christmas. It might go something like this, a phrase at a time:

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood . . . ”

The term “children” is taken from the previous verse and refers to the spiritual offspring of Christ, the Messiah (see Isaiah 8:18; 53:10). These are also the “children of God” (John 1:12). In other words, in sending Christ, God has the salvation of his “children” especially in view.

It is true that “God so loved the world, that he gave [Jesus]” (John 3:16). But it is also true that God was especially gathering “the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:52). God’s design was to offer Christ to the world, and to effect the salvation of his “children” (see 1 Timothy 4:10). You may experience adoption by receiving Christ (John 1:12).

“ . . . he himself likewise partook of the same things [flesh and blood] . . . ”

This means that Christ existed before the incarnation. He was spirit. He was the eternal Word. He was with God and was God (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). But he took on flesh and blood and clothed his deity with humanity. He became fully man and remained fully God. It is a great mystery in many ways. But it is at the heart of our faith — and what the Bible teaches.

“ . . . that through death . . . ”

The reason he became man was to die. As God pure and simple, he could not die for sinners. But as man he could. His aim was to die. Therefore he had to be born human. He was born to die. Good Friday is the purpose of Christmas. This is what most people today need to hear about the meaning of Christmas.

“ . . . he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil . . . ”

In dying, Christ de-fanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin. This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33) — on what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9).

Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon of the devil — the one mortal weapon that he has — is taken out of his hand. He cannot make a case for our death penalty, because the Judge has acquitted us by the death of his Son!

“ . . . and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

So, we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. And God means for our ultimate safety to have an immediate effect on our lives. He means for the happy ending to take away the slavery and fear of the Now.

If we do not need to fear our last and greatest enemy, death, then we do not need to fear anything. We can be free. Free for joy. Free for others.”

I will close with this quote from John Piper.

God is most glorified in us
when we are most satisfied in him.

Have a blessed Easter.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

More garden blooms and some short amateur videos

Good afternoon Friends ~ Hope you are all doing well, are safe, no matter where you are or what your weather is.

I just had some much needed rain earlier. I had seen that rain was coming so went out before it got here and raked up garden debris. It has been so nice these past few days that I’ve been out working in my gardens. Still much to do, but I’m making forward progress and and it feels good.

Yesterday and then again this morning I played around with my LG smartphone to try some videos. Some show the traffic noise from the 4 lane highway out front. The road out front used to be two lanes, a nice country type road, but this area has grown tremendously so roads have been widened and homeowner’s properties shortened, ours by a depth of 25’ across the front, which has most definitely brought traffic much closer. There are quiet times throughout the day as the traffic ebbs and flows depending on what time of day it is.  Links will be at the bottom of this post. Forgive my inadequacy at doing this. I want to be able to either put music to the videos, or just have them silent and voice overs. I need help.

Now here are some blooms from the past week.

Basket plant flowers. These are so sweetly scented. I will try to remember to get a photo where a lot of these are in blooms at the same time. Very easy to grow and spread like crazy.


Here is a swallowtail catterpillar I think, munching down on a Giant Milkweed plant, which is now stripped of all leaves.


A two-toned carpet rose.




Clock vine blooms.


Crepuscule rose, I think.



Pinky-peach salvia greggii. Easy to grow, self sows.


A wonderful ground cover that I can’t remember the name of at the moment. I want to get this growing all over the place.


Amaryllis, blooms about this same time every year.


Peachy-pink carpet roses.


Granada rose in the foreground, has a delicous scent. I plan to paint the aluminum metal work turquoise like the heart to the right hand side of this picture.


International Herald Tribune rose on the first then on the sixth.



Maman Cochet yesterday, I need to see how open she is now.


Orchids from my dear friends Nanci & John.


Spiderwort, a favorite of mine, spreads like crazy, some gardeners call this a weed.


An unkn. tiny orchid.


Vanda Miss Joachim orchid, grows like crazy, break off a piece with roots and put it wherever you want it.


Secret garden, this is what I look out into when I wash dishes.


That’s it for the photo section this time.

Here is a link to a lady gardener/vlogger in Ireland. I had visited her blog quite awhile back, but a friend just found her and sent me the link so I re-visited and she inspires me.

A Cottage In The Woods

Now for the links to my humble, amateur short videos. You can see more if you view full screen.

Front Gardens with traffic

Front Gardens with traffic 2

Mockingbird Singing

Secret Garden

7 March 2018

Ok, that’s it. Time for some lunch. Blogging takes time, from picture taking to editing photos, then writing up a blog, but it is something I truly enjoy.

Enjoy each day you are blessed with.

Spring is coming ~ FlowerLady