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Showing posts from 2012

A prayer for the New Year

As the last crumbs of Christmas cake and pudding have been eaten it's time to contemplate the New Year.  I think this week's Psalm has a perfect prayer for 2013.

Psalm 86:11 New International Version (NIV)
"Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #86


As I eagerly await Christmas Day and treasure all the Lord has done I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and a joyous time together.

Psalm 85:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
"Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation."

Participating in Psalm Challenge 85 with Robert and others.


Welcome to the Christmas season and the bubble of joy and hope it brings.

Psalm 84:10 New International Version (NIV)
"Better is one day in your courts
 than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
 than dwell in the tents of the wicked."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #84.

Cut down

It was once a Sugar Maple that stood tall and its big shady canopy went glorious golden in the autumn but for the past several years it has struggled to put out any leaves. This week with a few cuts of the chainsaw it met with an end.

Psalm 83: 10-11 (The Message)
Cut down their leaders as you did Oreb and Zeeb,
their princes to nothings like Zebah and Zalmunna,
With their empty brags, “We’re grabbing it all,
grabbing God’s gardens for ourselves.”

Participating in Psalm Challenge #83 hosted by Robert.

An immigrant

There were a pair of Red-wiskered Bulbuls in the cherry tree this week.

Bulbuls are native to China, introduced to Sydney in the 1880s.  They have settled in well with the locals.

This little bird had me thinking of the immigrants and refugees we welcome into this country, how they settle in and enrich our lives.  May we be kind and welcoming to those fleeing other countries and seeking shelter in our land.

Psalm 82:3-4 New International Version (NIV)
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Participating the Psalm Challenge #82 with Robert and others over at Athens Daily Photo.

Sing aloud

Berries for the birds.

There has been an avian interloper in the garden singing aloud.  All week I have been feeling disoriented because that's a bird call I associate more with Queensland than the mountains.  It's the Common  Koel.   There has also been a battle of the birds going on too because the Wattlebirds don't like this visitor.

I have been reading up on them.  The Koel migrates from New Guinea in the spring to breed and their range has been increasing over the years.  It is believed this is happening because the range of the Red Wattlebird is increasing and the Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species one of which is the Red Wattlebird.

Apparently a tactic of the Koel is for the male to make lots of noise enticing both the Wattlebirds to go chase him. Meanwhile the quite little female goes and lays an egg in their nest.

I think we are going to have a cuckoo in the garden this season screaming at the host parents to be fed.


Taking root

I was gently berating my husband this week,

"Why don't you help me in the garden?"

"Because you do it, so I don't need to," was his nonchalant reply.

"Well if I stopped doing it what would the garden be like?"

This was a rhetorical question because we both knew the answer ... even more of it would be like this week's photo.

Psalm 80:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
"You transplanted a vine from Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #80 with Robert and others over at Athens Daily Photo.

White as snow

The snowball plants are flowering.

Psalm 79:9 New International Version (NIV)
"Help us, God our Savior,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
for your name’s sake."

Isaiah 1:18
"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow"

Participating in Psalm Challenge #79 with Robert and others a Athens Daily Photo.


Old fashioned flowers make me think of my Mum.  She loved them and passed on her delight to me. Even better, she passed on her love of the Lord, what a great inheritance.

Psalm 78:6-7 New International Version (NIV)
"So the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands."

Participating in Psalm Challenge 78.

A meditation

Come take a gentle stroll with me down azalea walk. At this time of year it's a balm for tired or troubled spirits. A time to remember the great goodness of our God.

Psalm 77:12 New International Version (NIV)
"I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Participating in Psalm Challenge #77

All seeing

Well I am certainly not all seeing.  I have lived in this home for close on 20 years and I don't think I've ever noticed that walnut flowers until this year.  This week the tree was full of these long hanging strands.

Psalm 76:12 (The Message)
Let everyone in town bring offerings
to the One Who Watches our every move.
Nobody gets by with anything,
no one plays fast and loose with him.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #76

The appointed time

The iris looks so delightfully spring but it seems it's not quite the appointed time for steady warmth. On Friday there was sleet falling outside much of the day and big falls of snow further up the mountain.

We've spent the week setting aright the problems caused by last week's lightening ... our computer network got zapped and perhaps the heating too because when I tried to put it on to beat the chill it wouldn't do a thing. Fortunately we had some wood left to burn.

Psalm 75:2-3 (New International Version)
You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #75

By your power

The meadow in our garden looks tranquil but apparently it wasn't so late last night.  Lightening struck a big tree next door which came down on the electricity line, sending a power spike through the neighbourhood tripping switches and fuses and putting our telephones off the air.  We were away so missed the commotion.  Today the State Emergency Services volunteers were there with their chain saws setting things aright.

Psalm 74:12-13 New International Version
But God is my King from long ago;
he brings salvation on the earth.
It was you who split open the sea by your power;
you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #74

Seeing things in perspective

We were at Floriade during the week and it's pretty easy to be envious of such a triumph of tulips but the single lonely stem in my garden this year has given me great joy.

Psalm 73:21-24 The Message (MSG)
"When I was beleaguered and bitter,
totally consumed by envy,
I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox
in your very presence.
I’m still in your presence,
but you’ve taken my hand.
You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then you bless me."

Participating in Psalm Challenge 73 with Robert and others over at Athen's Daily photo.


Such glorious weather. The grass is mowed and the garden spring cleaning begun. But I pause the hear the bees hum among the blossom and watch the little birds fidget among the fresh green leaves.

From Psalm 72 (The Message)
Give the gift of wise rule to the king,
O God, the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
... Be rainfall on cut grass,
 earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
 and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #72.

Your mighty acts

This week Spring broke out in its full exuberance and the sun shone warm.  It feels so good. My heart sings for joy at the cycle of seasons.

Psalm 71:18 New International Version (NIV)
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #71 

Good times, bad times

The Japanese quince is such a lovely thing in spring and such a prickly pain the rest of the year. The light was very bright when I was taking this, making the photo a splotchy range of light and dark contrasts.  Has me thinking of good times and bad times, like this week's psalm, the Lord is there in all times.

Psalm 70:4-5 New International Version (NIV)
"But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Lord, do not delay."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #70 with Robert in Greece.


There is never a more heartening time in the garden than spring.  The calendar ticked over to spring this week but the earth told me anyway ... there are daffodils smiling cheerfully all over the place and though the nights and days are sometimes still very chilly they are interspersed with times of delightful warmth.

Psalm 69:34 King James Version (KJV)
"Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein."

Robert at Daily Athens Photo has returned from his break so I am now skipping back to the Psalm number of his weekly challenge.  This week #69.


The blue fescue grass is looking old, weary and battered by the winter cold and dry. But the days are getting warming.

Psalm 9: 9-10 The Message (MSG)
"God's a safe-house for the battered,
a sanctuary during bad times.
The moment you arrive, you relax;
you're never sorry you knocked."

Work of his fingers

Our camellias are doing great this year.  Walking about the garden recently  - not this weekend, though my back is much better, because it's blowing a gale and the temperatures have plummeted. I spotted this one, unusual because the rest of the flowers on the bush are white with just a pink edge like the one below. One of a kind.

Psalm 8:3-4 New International Version (NIV)
"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?"

Wild chase

As expected the August winds have arrived, blowing away the sneak peek at Spring.  And my back is playing up so no church today, just rugged up inside reading a book.  So this week you get the dead leaf image so joyously discarded last week, but we know it is only a temporary set back.

Psalm 7:1, 17 (The Message)
"God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild ...
I'm thanking God, who makes things right.
I'm singing the fame of heaven-high God."

Sweet relief

I have been moaning and groaning this week.  The winter is long.  The weather is chill.  The clouds are dulling the sun.  And there are the August winds to get stronger yet.

And then today the clouds cleared, the weather a warm 15C. After church we packed a picnic, went to the lake and basked in the mild sunshine. Even the winds slowed to a brisk breeze.

Then a stroll around the garden and instead of looking for moaning groaning photos of dead leaves I found the sweet fragrance of violets and early daffodils nodding their heads in the warmth.

Psalm 6:6 New International Version (NIV)
"I am worn out from my groaning."


I am ever so glad that I rarely see dawn since I've stopped commuting.  But I particularly wanted an early morning shot to match the Psalm today.  It was chilly so I returned to my cosy bed soon after.

Psalm 5:3 New International Version (NIV)
"In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly."

Still sleeping

The weather last week was warmish so I got out and did a little bit of garden rescue, pulling the grass from the herb bed, dreaming of spring.

The trees are still in their winter sleep with a couple more months of cold to endure before spring will burst out.

Psalm 4:8 New International Version (NIV)
"In peace I will lie down and sleep,
 for you alone,
Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Waking again

The spring bulbs are stirring from their sleep.

Psalm 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
"I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side."

Be wise

It's flowering time for camellias.  I especially like the clean unassuming beauty of the white ones.

Psalm 2:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
"Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Fruit in season

This is the fruit of the pittosporum, a pleasant small tree with fragrant flowers and very prolific --
 seedlings pop up all over the garden (aka a weed). I don't think the fruit is edible to humans but clearly the birds love them.

Psalm 1:1-3
"Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers."

Robert from the Psalm challenge is taking a break but I so enjoy reflecting on the Psalms each Sunday I have decided to start back at number 1 while we await his return in a couple of months time.

Showers of blessing

Rain may make a winter's day seem dreary but I find it difficult to not welcome rain after all those years of drought slowly killing off the plants.  After a couple of years of good rains the garden is looking lush and happy again.

Psalm 68:9 New International Version (NIV)
"You gave abundant showers, O God;
 you refreshed your weary inheritance."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #68


It's a cold, rainy, winter weekend but the earth's exuberance just won't be held back.

From Psalm 67 The Message (MSG)
 God! Let people thank and enjoy you.
 Let all people thank and enjoy you.
 Earth, display your exuberance!

Participating in Psalm Challenge #67


The days and nights are getting very chilly. The warmth of the fire is a comfort.

Psalm 66:12 New International Version (NIV)
"We went through fire and water,
 but you brought us to a place of abundance."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #66

Songs of joy

It has not been the best year for autumn colour, too warm early in the season.  But the trees on the south side of the house that turn later have done themselves proud because the expected chill has arrived.

My heart sings at Autumn beauty.

Psalm 65:8 New International Version (NIV)
"The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
 where morning dawns, where evening fades,
 you call forth songs of joy."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #65

Protect me

I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the little birds migrating north for the winter.  I thought of God's protection in our vulnerability when I looked at these tiny birds.

I think this is an Eastern Yellow Robin. I wonder whether we will see the Red Robins this year.

Psalm 64:1
Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #64


It is not a great shot but it seemed the best of those I have taken recently to suggest glory which is the theme I wanted to run with from Psalm 63.  It is such a lovely psalm I had trouble deciding which verses to select.

Psalm 63:2-3 New International Version (NIV)
I have seen you in the sanctuary
 and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
 my lips will glorify you.

Participating in Psalm Challenge #63

Resting place

Autumn is in full flourish in the garden.  Plenty of leaves are finding a resting place below the trees.

Psalm 62:5-8 New International Version (NIV)
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
 my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
 he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
 he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
 pour out your hearts to him,
 for God is our refuge.

High Rock

The reduced hours are my choice but this week they turned out to be not much reduced so no work in the garden. I am however learning to enter the day more slowly and reflectively.

Psalm 61:2 King James Version
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #61

Coming apart at the seams

Tomorrow is a big day for me. My work hours are reducing and I have such dreams of what I might achieve in the garden with the extra time, like cleaning up these pine cones which dropped weeks ago.

Psalm 60:1-2 The Message (MSG)
"God! you walked off and left us, kicked our defenses to bits
 And stalked off angry.
 Come back. Oh please, come back!

You shook earth to the foundations,
 ripped open huge crevasses.
 Heal the breaks! Everything's
 coming apart at the seams."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #60

Dependable love

Early in the morning I was enjoying watch the sun shine on the leaves that are beginning to show their autumn colour - the cycle of the seasons is so comforting.

Psalm 59:16-17 The Message
"And me? I'm singing your prowess,
 shouting at cockcrow your largesse,
 For you've been a safe place for me,
 a good place to hide.
 Strong God, I'm watching you do it,
 I can always count on you—
 God, my dependable love."

Participating in this week's Psalm Challenge.

Green or dry

The agapanthus heads are dropping their seed and I have been tut-tutting as I walk around the garden. I should have cut them weeks ago to save myself having to weed out hundreds of baby agapanthus because I already have more than enough.

This weeks Psalm Challenge is one of those challenging ones where the Psalmist wishes ill on the wicked.

Psalm 58:9
"whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away"

Be Exalted, O God

I have thinking. What from this Easter season would reflect the joy and peace I experience through the Lord's sacrifice and triumphant resurrection.

Selected verses in italics from Psalm 57

Would it be the berries on the catoneaster, like oozing drops of blood?
My soul was bowed down
Would it be the full moon rising in the east as the sun lowered behind the trees in the west?
Let your glory be over all the earth
Would it be the thunder and lightening playing outside tonight?
In the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
Would it be the cyclamen rising from the sun warmed earth with petals lifted to the heavens?
I will sing and make melody!
Would it be that I have been humming these words ever since I checked this week's Psalm challenge and again as I sunk into the bath tub tonight. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
I hope you have all had a blessed Easter, celebrating with the risen Christ.

Sadness and trust

We have been away in Canberra and Sydney for a week and came home to find Autumn has moved in. The weather this weekend has been warm and glorious, though we are having a rainstorm again just now. Autumn is a special time of year, tinged just a little with sadness as summer fades.  Today's Psalm is also tinged with sadness but also with resolute trust.

Psalm 56:3-4 New International Version (NIV)
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?"

Participating in this weeks Psalm Challenge #56


A butterfly flits among the oregano, ending summer's carefree days.
Psalm 55:22 New International Version (NIV)
"Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken."

Participating in this week's Psalm Challenge


My neglected garden is teaming with life, with things climbing and climbing, seeking the light.

Psalm 53:2 New International Version (NIV)
"God looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God."

A contribution to Psalm Challenge 53.

I will hope ...

Since I first planted this grevillia and waited expectantly for its first flower this plant has come to represent hope to me.

Psalm 52:9 New International Version (NIV)
"For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good."

Participating in this week's Psalm Challenge #52.

Wash me

Summer has gone and what a summer it was -- rain, rain, rain.  And they say we are going to have an unusually wet autumn too.

This week's Psalm Challenge is Psalm 51. Visit Athens Daily Photo for more interpretations of this wonderful Psalm.


Psalm 51:2 New International Version (NIV)
"Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin."
The king parrots are visiting the garden again.  This photo was taken in February five years ago.  I wanted a bird photo for today's Psalm challenge but have been off visiting towns for my new 100 towns project so could not get a shot this weekend.

Psalm 50:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
"For every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine."


I found these gobbling the lime leaves.  But if I want butterflies in the garden I guess I have to put up with some gobbling.

Psalm 49:15 New International Version (NIV)
"But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself."

Participating in Psalm Challenge #49.

Citrus blossom

The lime tree has given us some flowers recently.

When I first met citrus blossom
My Dad got up a 4am every morning. He told me this habit started when as a young lad he had breakfast with Grandad before he headed off with the bullock team.

Each morning summer and winter Dad lit the fire (we had a wood stove) and settled down to his business accounts. At around 6 am he collected the morning paper from the footpath, filled a teapot from the kettle now singing gently on the stove, toasted some bread over the red coals and set a tray with two tea cups. Sometimes that tray also had a flower selected from the garden, fresh with morning dew.

The tray he carried into the bedroom where Mum was waiting for her morning cuppa, once a year had the first orange blossom for the season.

I don't know the significance of that bloom in their 50 year romance but when I see citrus blossom I always think of the love they shared.

[I will add the photo of Mum that Dad carried with him throughout the war…