Monday, November 15, 2010

Encore Performance

The colors were gorgeous. Reds, oranges, and yellows interspersed among the evergreens. I believe we've reached the peak of fall color in Georgia. Although the color palette shifts subtly from year to year, I'm always amazed at the Creator's artistry. I tend to forget about the colors that will cover the trees like a vibrant, new wardrobe, leaving me to stand in awe of their splendor.

Strolling slowly through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this past weekend, I snapped enough pictures to fill a photo album. Trees, ornamental grasses, and flowers all seemed to sense the inevitable approach of winter, and were intent on putting on an encore performance. Each spoke clearly to me, pointing to a Master Designer.

God's purpose for His creation is beautifully spelled out, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork," (Psalm 19:1; KJV). It all points to Him. The Apostle Paul drives this point home, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him," (Colossians 1:16).

As part of God's creation, I have an even greater opportunity than the trees, to make Him known to others. God has uniquely equipped me with talents and abilities. When developed, these gifts cause others to take notice. I have a choice to make. Will I use my abilities to make much of Christ, or will I desire the recognition for myself?

Nature has no problem fulfilling God's plan. But I was created with a free will, and must decide who I will serve, self or my Heavenly Father. I'm reminded of my purpose, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," (Matthew 5:16). As I grow in grace, realizing that He must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30), I'll be clothed with that vibrant wardrobe that will point others to the Father. Today I choose to live in light of the truth: It's all about Him, it's not about me!

Does the beauty of fall remind you of a Master Designer? Are you developing the talents and abilities God has given you, in order to make much of Him?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the beauty of creation that clearly points to You! I'm grateful for the gifts and abilities You've given me, and pray for the opportunity to use them to point others to You. Help me to be mindful of my purpose and to make much of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Oh brilliant orange in the first photo, so gorgeous. God created the first garden, and we are all flowers in his garden today.

  2. Terra - Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the oranges are my favorite! Great reminder that we're 'flowers' in God's garden! Let's praise Him today! Have a wonderful week! :)

  3. Beautiful photo!
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  4. Hi Maria -

    Love, love, love these photos! We're past the peak of fall here. Many trees are bare, but there are still a few gems around.

    An old song says, "Make me a blessing. Make me a blessing. Out of my life may Jesus shine. Make me a blessing, oh Savior, I pray. Make me a blessing to someone today." That is my prayer.

    Susan :)

  5. Andrea - So glad you stopped by! Good to see you! I love the beauty of fall! Have a blessed week! God bless! :)

    Susan - I took lots of pix and wish I could have included more! Some close ups of flowers and leaves floating in a fountain turned out really well! Now if I only had time to paint some pictures!

    Love the song you quoted! You have such a sweet spirit, you are indeed a blessing to me (and to all who read your blog!)! Have a wonderful week and God bless you, my sister! :)

  6. Beautiful! I've never been there, but would love to one day!

  7. Kristen - So good to see you! You'd love it! They added a canopy walk recently that gives you a birds-eye view of the woods below - absolutely beautiful! Have a great week! Hugs & God bless!

  8. Absolutely beautiful!!!! Have a great day, Maria.

  9. Oh, yes, I love the colors of fall, and the colorful imagination of our Father. And yes, I am developing the gifts He's painted in my heart, with His help.

    I love those photos--thanks for sharing them!

  10. Hi sweet friend, Love this post and of course the first photo was my favorite because I miss some of the reds & purples here but this year we had an incredible fall-thank you Lord.
    Have a blessed day.

  11. Hi Maria,
    What beautiful photos and such vibrant colours!! I love Fall and this is my favourite time of year!
    Blessings and hugs.

  12. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, especially in Kentucky. Love your photos!

  13. Diana - Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Have a great day!

    Jen - Good to see your smiling face! Love the tie-in you made with the fall colors and our Father's colorful imagination - so true! Have a beautiful week!

    Noreen - Welcome back! It's always good to praise the Lord for His handiwork! Praying your day is blessed as well! :)

    Linda - Glad you enjoyed the photos! Each fall I'm reminded that this time of year is my favorite, too! Have a wonderfully blessed week!Looking forward to meeting you!

    Heather - Thanks for stopping by! I remember the gorgeous Fall colors up north! So beautiful in the Kentucky pasturelands! Glad you enjoyed the photos! God bless!