Spring forth with new life

Light
Light enters darkness and brings new life and color to the existing, brightening the environment.

When we discuss spring and how the earth seems to regenerate, I think there are applications to our physical, mental and spiritual lives as well.

Why not look at our natural surroundings and compare?

11964881945_f704f38569_oWhen winter arrives it typically demonstrates that fall preceded it resulting in the natural environment becoming dormant.  Leaves dry and fall, and nourish the earth.  Trees, vegetation and even wildlife itself practically draws within.  There is a lull of life, so it seems. And we’re lonely.  3704457713_01276f235b_o

4366528480_6c6fae3345_oThen NEW LIFE springs forth with all its vibrant colors and freshness.  It’s like that which was dead is now alive.  I for one am appreciative of the NEW LIFE – physically, mentally and spiritually; and have embraced it.

12060616073_4498f18aaf_oEven our bodies want to regenerate physically.  We’ve been somewhat sedentary for a season.  They may become more hesitant to move quickly again, or maybe they lost some of the pizazz and strength.3732243545_408c1b1463_o

This slow-down of our lives and the environment around us no doubt can affect our mental being as well.  We ponder on the gloom and cold too much without thinking ahead of the vibrancy of spring.  We need new growth and recovery with our own physical and mental lives.

Pondering on the past spring of life and the dormancy stage of our lives can and will affect our mental picture of life itself.  Let’s think again of the spring of our lives and regenerate to even a new way of thinking.

21647070302_b09086a14d_oWell, how about the spiritual as well?  Maybe we have never given it much thought.  Maybe we have thought about it before and discounted it.  Maybe we recall a time when we were spiritual and then our progress slowed.  Or maybe we feel disappointed in our lack of spiritual regeneration or growth, or someone has let us down.

Part of Wikipedia’s definition of “spiritual” mentions that it traditionally refers to a religious process of reformation which “aims to recover the original shape of man, oriented at ‘the image of God’ as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.”

3732241853_c69ba6c6dc_oIt seems that all of humankind is in search of something or someone to help regenerate us – to shape us – toward our destiny or calling of life.

While there are beliefs around the world so varied as practically the sand on the seashore we still search.12021324103_7eec8e83ef_o

Life is too short to not enjoy it, right?  Doesn’t God want us to enjoy our lives and the creation He has established around us?  I know there are many who are searching and many who do not consider an absolute or higher being.  That’s each person’s decision and he or she has the right to individual beliefs.

3737384434_fe0d0db0c2_oIs it befitting though that the Christian Easter season coincides with spring?  Easter represents NEW LIFE as recorded in New Testament recordings.3736593171_7da4a7fb6f_o

 

 

 

Google’s definition of Easter identifies this special time as “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.”

Compare Google’s definition of Easter to Wikipedia’s definition that modern spirituality is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Expansion of this definition states: “It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”

3919910882_ab090a07f2_oThe word “resurrection” is referenced in Wikipedia as the “concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects. The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity.”

There are numerous accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian’s New Testament.  I like how Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, documented the resurrection of Christ.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”8 Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24 (New International Version)

While Jesus lived here on Earth his ministry was about LOVE and PEACE through God.  He talked about drawing all people through Him to God.  He talked about providing abundant life to all who believed and trust in Him.

The butterfly reminds me of the old life and how it served a purpose, created as a caterpillar.  It then died to self  for a higher purpose.  This too reminds me of a transformation in life.

 

So, is it worth the opportunity to leave the dead and dread of winter in our lives to spring forth into hope as Jesus Christ mentioned?  He talked about providing abundant life, not death.  I think that’s a great sign of hope and spiritual rebirth that will complement our mental and physical regeneration as well.

As our external environment springs forth we have a choice to allow or disallow the internal being to spring forth also.  I’m sure happy with my choice and feel that I’m experiencing abundant LIFE today.

Let’s spring forth with color and brightness with new life to help the world wherein we are placed.  Besides, our season is too short to not live life abundantly here before moving on.

3705265370_b525b4366f_o(Photos by Linda and Ron Tittle)

Taste of Florida Christmas

Merry Christmas from north Florida.

As you travel around north Florida during the Christmas celebration you’ll experience warm weather.  That’s great for those traveling from afar, and of course locals enjoy it too.

This week was filled with joy, excitement, hustle and bustle, as well as travel congestion – but still the sense of being alive and well, and being blessed in Florida.

Beach goers just north of St. Augustine experienced the joy of the season 23324013753_d57603bfa9_kin more ways than one.   A few splashed around in the rolling waves as surfers looked for their perfect set.  We came upon a interested snowman too.  Instead of a snowman how about a sandman?  Or, Sandperson.

In St. Augustine, the sights and sounds were elevated as trolleys and trains moved people along the routes as they sang their favorite seasonal songs.  The lights and atmosphere was – and is festive.

While it’s a wonderful time of year to experience life, adventure, sights and sounds, what lasting memories will you have?  Do we really believe this is a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or whatever emphasis we want to place on it?

We do know that the sounds of laughter, excitement and joy, along with peace do not necessarily last forever here on Earth – although one came to provide Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men (and Women too).

Yes, let’s enjoy the seasons.  Let’s enjoy Peace on Earth as we strive toward it.  Let’s also think of eternal joy and peace as well.  I leave with you some excellent words of wisdom this Christmas season from Charles Swindoll’s Insight for Living devotion for December 25 – “A Christmas Masterpiece.”

“Before time began, God had in His mind’s eye a masterpiece – a beautiful picture of grace that His beloved Son, the second person of the Trinity, would illustrate with His life.

“Even before the breathtaking splendor of creation, God sketched out His plan for His perfect fellowship with humanity.  But not long after He had splashed color on the landscape, the deep, dark shadows of man’s rebellious choice to live independently of His grace obscured the beauty of God’s work.  Coal black, pitch darkness enveloped the scene, and all creation hung in suspense of what God would do.”

Do you know what God did?  You can read the rest of the message at http://www.insight.org.  You can also read from the scriptures in John 3:16.

I believe this don’t you?

This the the message of hope that we all seek.  The Savior slipped into our world to fulfill God’s plan.  We can celebrate Christmas throughout the year – enjoying God’s greatest present with Love.  Live life fully each day with joy, happiness, peace and knowing where we are going.  God made a way for us.

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