Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination (Hail the King)

Merry Christmas

“Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.”
– Lucinda Franks

Hail the King

Amber light of God reflected by the sun.

Mimicked by man under the creamy glow of a waxen moon.

Simulacrum of light bottled into bulbs, illuminated when turned “on.”

Incandescent lights continuing where the sun sunsets leave off.

Earth greets the arrival of the divine King, Jesus Christ.

With decorated trees, colored lights and faith.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

Daily Prompt: Resolved (Forgiveness)

Happy New Year

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” – Anonymous

I Forgive Thee, to Forgive Me (Prayer)

Frustration, I forgive you with knowledge.

Exhaustion, I forgive you with fortitude.

Confusion, I forgive you with divine counsel.

Affliction, I forgive you with acceptance.

Spite, I forgive you with wisdom.

Hate, I forgive you with fear of God.

Ego, I forgive you with piety.

Holy Spirit heal all pain residing internally and externally through your gifts.
I relinquish all pain ever experienced and shared in the name of Jesus.

© 2013 Jade Jarvis

4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. (Psalm 86:4-5)

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Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful (Faithful to the End)

Prayer

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Faith plays a paramount role in my life.  It is the summary of my life’s work.  Upon waking it is my first thought and the featured film in my dreams.  It is spark that created me and the flame that will burn out once it touches the candelabra. When I am exhausted it is the nudge that tells me to keep going even it means crawling.  Purpose, identity and confidence are three main areas of my life, greatly improved through faith.

According to Hebrews faith is defined as, “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is the ultimate test in our belief in God, because we are required to look beyond the physical realm. Our eyes cannot see love, but feel it when we embrace someone.  Faith is like an open Wi-Fi connection to divine consciousness.  All of God is accessible through faith.

Faith gives purpose.  In order to truly believe in something, it must be emulated.  “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ(1 Corinthians 11:1).  Our lives must be rearranged to make imitation possible.  In my case I had to consciously remind myself to be content with what I have and not long for what was lost.  Every time I noticed a blessing given to me, I thanked God for it.  After a few tries, it became second nature and taught me to see the glass as half full and not half empty.

Responsibility makes us accountable to purpose.  Our words, thoughts, and deeds should reflect purpose.  Obedience brings loyalty to purpose.  The more obedient you are to God, the more you see things the way God does.  With continued practice, you will become more attentive to God’s will and more aware of the constant graces blossoming in our lives.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  After all, actions speak louder words.

Purpose gives identity.  As a Christian, I identify myself as a divinely created child of God who became flesh as Jesus Christ. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Christians believe Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, who paid the debts of our sins with his life and precious blood.  The Holy Bible contains segments of the life of Jesus, his family, prophets and precepts.  Prayer is the main way to connect with Jesus. “15 What am I to do?  I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).  Prayer unites the mind, body and spirit to divine consciousness.

Identity brings confidence.  Once you know who you are, you know what is expected of you and know what you will ultimately become.  Having God as your compass gives you confidence to know you will always be victorious in all matters.  You will fall at times, but you will always have someone to pick you up, dry your tears and tell you to keep moving.  You don’t need to know everything, just what you need for right now.  Courage and perseverance will give you the fire to keep going because goodness always overpowers evil.  “6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Free will makes faith possible.  I believe in God because I choose to.  We all have a right to believe or not.  Faith is my spiritual connection to God.  Through faith my life has made a complete transformation for the better.  Throughout the day I find myself smiling.  I sing out of joy and little things are no longer the cause of major frustration.  Moments of sadness strike, but never defeat me.  “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

© 2012 Jade Jarvis

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate (Living Waters)

Raindrops

“All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.”
― Toni Morrison

Living Waters

Watching raindrops reminds me of the frailty of life.

How change is a constant companion in mortal existence.

One minute you are up, the next you are down.

To continue evolution, we must rise in perseverance.

©2012 Jade Jarvis

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)

Putting Christ In Christmas

Blessed Mother and Jesus Child

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.” ― Ezra Taft Benson

Our worries about finding the right gifts, cards and decorations are all just vanity. Give from the heart and if they don’t like it, they can “regift” it. We are supposed to be preparing the arrival of Jesus and that should be at the top of our wish list.

“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Repentance At the Shore

“The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

At sunset, my weary body rests on the ground.

Fingers stretched gripping sand.

Bronzed skin glistens under the citrus sun.

As the sun mingles with the horizon, anguish sets in.

Inhaling salty air into my lungs.

Distracts my eyes from trailing tears to my lips.

“I am sorry,” are three words I am too proud to say.

Apologies echo throughout my dreams until night turns into day.

Guilt, sorrow, fear and confusion I leave at the shore.

Sea foam washes my crown and I emerge pure.

©2012 Jade Jarvis

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Confidence to Love

Mother Mary

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
― Siddhārtha Gautama

Self-love is accepting the positivity and negativity dwelling within and having the confidence to replace darkness with light.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Empty Wallet, Full Heart

Lie Still In Peace

“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”
― Lao Tzu

An empty wallet rests in my pocket.
No money to pay bills, but when the moon rises, soundly I lay my head to rest.

Don’t need couture makeup, clothes, purses and shoes.
Confidence and a luminous tan are my signature accessories.

I have the one thing money can’t buy it’s called happiness.
Filled with peace, my mind is impenetrable to stress.

Simplicity brings contentment.
For I already have all I want.

©2012 Jade Jarvis

“11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

Birthday Epiphany: Vol. 30

Birthday Cake

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ― Dr. Seuss

Love is the dominant force in my life. Each year God brings awesome people in my life, to give me the essential support to confidently hike the narrow path. Obstacles may sprout in my trail, but also will roses.

“4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Farewell Twenties, Welcome Thirties

Birthday Cake

Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty. ― Robert Frost

30
Farewell twenties.
Welcome thirties.

No longer green behind the ears.
Ripe with wisdom gained throughout the years.

Willfully living through purpose.
I am joyfully living my best life.

©2012 Jade Jarvis

“Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.” (Psalm 71:6)