Reflections on the A-Z Blogging Challenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - Lg

This was my first time to take the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and I did it!

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month was Blossoming Verses, where every day during the month of April except Sundays l shared a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

I didn’t even learn about the challenge in the first place until just a few days before it was scheduled to begin. I guess you might say I was flying by the seat of my pants. There were a few times that I managed to write a post or two a few days before I shared it, but for the most part I was writing my posts the evening before each one was due. There were even some posts that I shared less than an hour before the day they were supposed to be shared expired, so some of my poems could hardly be considered works of art.

Even though some of my posts were meager offerings, I really enjoyed writing them and participating in this Challenge! It was so much fun going through the lists of other blogs that were participating and visiting them. I am a friendly person by nature. I like visiting with strangers in stores and other public places. I really like meeting people. Then there are those occasions when I get to meet people who actually have common interests. Those are really enriching moments.

I hope to participate again next year. If I do I am going to try to begin preparing a month or so in advance. I want to thank the A-Z  Team and all of the Challenge Participants for making this such a great experience.

 

Blessings,

Theresa

 

 

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

 

 

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“Z” Is For Zinnia

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Zinnia elegans (Zinnia)
Image credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.

10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;

11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.

16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.

18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.

19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” John 12 KJV

Zinnia is a genus of the annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. I am not absolutely certain, but the articles I have read have suggested that the species of zinnia that are sold along with many of the bedding plants for sale in garden centers in the spring are annuals. The most popular species among them are called Zinnia elegans.

Some varieties of Zinnia elegans are dwarf which grow to be about 6 inches tall while the long stemmed varieties grow to be about 3 feet tall. When it comes to their flower heads, there are so many types and colors from which to choose! There are single flowering, double flowering, and even pompom types. They are long blooming, drought tolerant, and sun loving plants that prefer well drained soil. Some of them are prone to mildew in humid climates, but some of the newer ones are more resistant.

If someone were to ask me what I  like most about zinnias I would tell them that I like them for their personality. They are warm and often vibrant in color, and have this endearing way of evoking feelings of friendship, happiness, and hospitality.

The Bible teaches that the Family of God is the “Body of Christ”, and that we are His Hands and feet here on the earth:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” 1 Peter 2:9-17 KJV

It is my prayer that the Lord would make me (and anyone else who professes to be a follower of Christ)  become more like the zinnia, and allow the Lord to permeate our beings transforming us into the kind of people that would draw others to Jesus.

Blessings,

Theresa

“Zinnia” by Theresa Anne Moore

Z  ealously Loving the Father above,

I   rresistably reaching with love,

N  ever forgetting to seek His face,

N  ever forgetting the meaning of grace,

I   nstantly forgiving the greatest offenses,

A  lways ‘receiving’ in all of its tenses.

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

“Y” Is For Yarrow

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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Image credit, pixabay.com

 

Scripture references;

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18 KJV

 

Yarrow is a hardy perennial plant with fern-like leaves. It blooms from midsummer into fall. They are heat tolerant, and get to be about 3 feet tall by two feet wide. They come in a number of colors including red, white, pink, and yellow, and look great in a naturalized setting. Give them full sun and well drained soil and they should be happy. They spread by rhizomes, and also self sow seeds. They can be invasive.

They are also sometimes used in herbal medicine. I haven’t read up on it, so I can’t tell you which parts are safe to be used.

 

“Yarrow” by Theresa Moore

 

Yarrow in the field growing

Is an herb that is worth knowing.

Breezes induce its gentle motion

Like a boat out on the ocean.

 

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

 

 

 

 

“X” Is For Xeranthemum annuum

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Everlasting, Immortelle (Xeranthemum annuumm)
Image credit, pixabay.com

 

Scripture reference;

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40 KJV

 

Have you ever heard of “Everlasting Flowers”? I hadn’t. The flower in the picture looked familiar, but there are so many daisy-like flowers in the world. I just finished reading a little about them. The descriptions of these pretty flowers that I read said they are easy to grow, and make nice cut flowers that also can be dried. They also self-sow freely which is great if you like volunteers; if not just deadhead the flowers.

The Lord wants us to grow up in Him and to multiply. It pleases Him whenever this occurs. All who believe in Him have everlasting life.

 

“Everlasting, Immortelle” by Theresa Anne Moore

 

Pretty flowers all around

Sowing seed upon the ground.

Countless flowers, can you tell?

Everlasting, Immortelle

 

 

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“W” Is For Widow’s Tears

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Widow’s Tears (Tradescantia virginiana)
Image credit, pixabay.com

 

Scripture reference;

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:6 KJV

 

Tradescantia virginiana is a herbaceous perennial. Its common names are spiderwort, spider lily, day flower, flower-of-a-day, Job’s tears, snake-grass, trinity, trinity lily, and widow’s tears. It is sometimes called spiderwort, because its angular leaf arrangement resembles a squatting spider. The reason it is sometimes called Job’s tears or widow’s tears is that at the end of the day each flower melts into a fluid jelly, like tears. The ones you get from catalogs grow to be 18-24 inches tall, but according to some articles, the wild ones might get three feet tall. They can take both sun and shade. I have seen them at the edge of woods, and along roadsides.

I once read that according to Strong’s Concordance, the Bible provides 697 references for verses associated with crying (weep, cry, tears). I began a series last year called “The Valley of Baca” at my other blog. “The Valley of Baca” is translated to mean “Vale of Tears”.  Hear is a link to what I have written so far:  https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/?s=The+Valley+of+Baca

 

“Widow’s Tears” by Theresa Anne Moore

In a grassy patch near a stream

I saw her kneeling;

Her bleary blue eyes somehow glistening

I beheld her with great esteem

And had this feeling.

I looked away but kept on listening.

 

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

 

“V” Is For Vinca

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Annual Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
Image credit, pixabay.com

 

Scripture reference;

1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100 KJV

 

 

Annual vinca is a long blooming sun loving tender perennial plant. It won’t survive a frost, so it must be treated as an annual in places that have cold winters. It comes in shades of red white, pink and lavender. Its common names are Madagascar periwinkle or rosy periwinkle. The most common are upright plants that get to be 1-2 feet tall, but there are some new varieties that trail. I bought a couple of the trailing ones in hanging baskets a few years ago, and enjoyed the way they looked hanging from my double shepherd hook.

These beautiful plants love the sun and tolerate shade. They appreciate some water, but don’t do well when over-watered. This is where they differ the most from impatiens. Impatiens can take a little morning sun, but definitely need afternoon shade. They also like more water. How do you tell these two plants apart if the tag is missing? Look at the leaves. Many impatiens have small heart shaped leaves (see my post “I”  Is For Impatiens). Annual Vinca plants have dark, oblong leaves with contrasting veins that are light green.

One more thing you need to know is that there is a perennial form of vinca that is used for ground covers, and usually has either a blue or lavender flower. It is called Vinca minor. Its common names are creeping myrtle and periwinkle flower.  Vina minor is beautiful, but can be invasive.

 

Sometimes it is hard to tell one flower from another. We can’t always tell much about people either.  The Lord knows it all, and He has made it possible to know Him. He is always truthful and merciful.

 

“Vinca” by Theresa Anne Moore

 

When I saw her growing there

A little flower who had no care

I was inspired and grateful to be

Reminded that God had made her and me.

 

 

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

“U” Is For Ursinia

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Parachute Daisy (Ursinia cakilefolia)
Image credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Psalm 48:1-2 KJV

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 KJV

 

Isn’t this a pretty flower? Parachute Daisies are annual flowers that are native to Africa. They get to be about 18 inches high and are supposed to be easy to grow. Each flower lasts for several days, but folds its petals closed each night. Then when those days are completed the flower turns into a white ball while its seeds form. They will brighten any flowerbed, and are beautiful in mass plantings. They are also really nice for cut flowers because they will still open during the day and close at night while in the vase.

When I look at these orange flowers I am reminded of how the Lord brings beauty and light into the world. I am also reminded that He dwells in those who believe in Him, and transforms them into His beautiful image allowing His light to shine through them. No matter where they are or what they might be experiencing, He will be with them and in them bringing beauty to their situation.

 

“Parachute Daisy” by Theresa Anne Moore

 

They spread like a blanket with utmost ease

Adorning the landscape with warmth and grace.

Each flower stands poised; eager to please

Greeting each day with a bright open face.

 

 

 

This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).

Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.

If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder

 

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com   They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!