Sweet Like Honey

our family's journal of God at work


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Some Thoughts About Beauty and Suffering in the World and Our Response

That there is beauty in this world demonstrates that there is something more than the ugliness and pain of this life. It is wrong to live an ugly, austere, depressed, ascetic life as a Chritian because we feel guilty over the suffering of others. The hope in our life gives hope to others. We should use our hope as a means of ministering to those who have none–always ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us–a hope we can only have from God.

We should embrace what is beautiful, true and good. Our lives should be characterized by these things, along with love. We should not, however, use these things to escape from the reality of a hurting world. We have hope of a better future and so we can look suffering and pain in the face without it shattering our faith–whether the suffering is ours or another’s–and we can reach out to others without despising them for their “lack” of beauty.

We know He makes all things beautiful in His time. We look forward to no more tears, pain and suffering. We have this as a sure hope, an anchor of our souls, and so we don’t have to grasp after it here and pretend nothing is amiss in our lives or the world. We can enjoy the beauty in this world and live with joy and hope, while at the same time accept that this world is also full of evil and suffering.

Because we are not escaping into beauty we can actively look for people who are hurting and extend hope and practical help to them. We can do this without feeling like a fake, because though the suffering is real, so is beauty and goodness and it is the goodness that will go on into eternity whereas the suffering will come to an end. Praise to the Lord.


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Florida Nature

Yesterday we took a hike on the trail between our subdivision and I-10.  It has a wide path so it is easy to avoid things like poison ivy, but there are many shady patches from the trees.  We went last week also, but didn’t think to take the camera.  On our last trip we saw a cotton mouth in the river that marks our turnaround spot–we were glad it was on the other side.  It seemed afraid of us and hid underneath some leaves. 

We did take the camera yesterday.  As I identify the different plants I will add their names to the pictures.  You might have to put your curser over the pictures to see the captions.  There is a picture of a monarch butterfly–you can kind of see the white spots and some of the orange.  It was too fast for me to get a good shot of it.  It was beautiful!  We waited for a long time to get some pictures of the huge blue dragonflies, and it was neat watching them fly over the water. 

At home, we saw a long-tailed skipper butterfly hovering over our bean plants.  Their caterpillars eat bean plants, so I guess it felt at home there.

Enjoy the pictures–I am so fascinated with the creativity of God.  He has given us so many things to enjoy and that testify of His glory.


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Message from the mirror

“Linger not long, here.  Do what you must to put all in order, but do not worship this tent which is temporal.”

I wrote this for my bathroom mirror, because God was convicting my heart about the excessive amount of time I was spending in front of it.  Just knowing it is there has helped me to flee temptation to vanity on many occasions.  “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.”