“O” Is For Oleander

“Why would a righteous God want us when we are so utterly sinful? He wants us, because He loves us. He will cleanse us, and purify us if we respond to His call, and answer. We require constant care, but He has promised to care for us. Aren’t you glad? I am…”

Serenaded Softly

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Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Image credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV

“9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a…

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“N” Is For Nikko Blue Hydrangea

“Christians are like hydrangeas. They progress through the seasons of life, and experience many kinds of weather, but they continue to look to Jesus as they study the Bible, and continually call out to Him in prayer. The Lord prizes us the same way I prize my hydrangeas…”

Serenaded Softly

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These are Nikko Blue Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) that I have growing in my backyard. The ones in the bottom picture next to the pie are cuttings I took to decorate a table.

Scripture reference;

“17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 3:17-18 KJV

I have lots of hydrangeas. I planted them along the foundation of my house on both the north and the east sides. Their leaves get to be really big, and their flowers are like big pompoms. Some flower books call them mop heads. The blooms start out green, and then slowly turn white. Next they start to show blue…

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“M” Is For Mock Orange Shrub

As I was looking at the pictures of my mock orange blossom I was reminded of the Bible verses I have shared. Our God is the master of transformation.

Serenaded Softly

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These are photos of my Mock Orange Shrubs (Philadelphus Coronarius).

Scripture reference;

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7-10 KJV

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 KJV

The Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub that quickly grows to be about 10 feet tall and wide. It enjoys full sun and well drained soil, but will tolerate…

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“K” is for Knock Out Rose

I am up to the letter “K” in the A-Z challenge. I did the best I could. It isn’t easy to make posts that tell about a flower, connect it to a Bible verse, and then write a poem that fits. Doing this 6 days a week for a whole month is indeed a challenge. 🙂

Serenaded Softly

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Red Knock Out Roses growing in front of a Mock Orange Shrub in my side yard on the west side of my house in April of 2011

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This is how they looked a year later.

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Red Knock Out Roses and Mock Orange Shrub stems on the patio table in my backyard.

Scripture reference;

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that…

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“J” Is For Japanese Honeysuckle

In some ways Christians are like that honeysuckle. As they yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit He will gradually take over them conforming them more and more into the Lord’s image. As this growth occurs they will spread and reach out to others. The breeze that the Father blows will carry their fragrance leaving a scent trail that will attract seekers and repel those who continually reject the Lord. Some will even take all kinds of measures to keep them in check, and to even destroy them, but in the end their efforts will be in vain.

Serenaded Softly

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This is a closeup of Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) growing around the base of a sweet gum tree in my backyard.

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From this angle  you can see more honeysuckle growing on a tree stump just two the left of these chairs. It completely covered the stump quickly, and I pruned it, so that it looks like a big round shrub. Behind the chairs is a planting of tiger lilies that had not bloomed yet that year.

Scripture reference;

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 KJV

Japanese Honeysuckle is an extremely vigorous…

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“F” Is For Four O’ Clocks

We don’t have our swings anymore, but the tether ball is still standing. Our nest may be empty, but I still have memories that make me smile.

Serenaded Softly

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Mirabilis Jalapa, Wonderblume
Image Credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV

Four O’ Clocks hold a special charm for me similar to that of morning glories, hollyhocks, and marigolds. These are all plants I remember seeing in gardens of people that I loved. They weren’t the beautifully landscaped kind that you see in magazines, and are so popular today, although each of these flowers would do just fine in them. These gardens were simple plots with some vegetables here and a few flowers there, but much prized by their owners who also took great delight in showing them to little children a few minutes before taking them into the house, so they could…

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“E” Is For Eupatorium

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I committed to writing a poem every day. So far they have been acrostic poems, which can be easier, but still has been a challenge indeed. Here is my post for the letter “E”:

Serenaded Softly

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Blue Mist Flowers, Wild Ageratum (Eupatorium colestinum)
Image Credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord‘s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.” Deuteronomy 10:14 KJV

Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalm 86:4-5 KJV

Eupatorium isn’t a specific plant. It is a genus of flowering plants. I just wanted to write about a plant I used to have that I really liked, but needed a plant that started with an “E”, so I sort of cheated.

A patch of Blue Mist Flowers (Eupatorium colestinum) appeared in my yard one year a long time ago. They were such pretty flowers, and I wondered…

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“D” Is For Day Lily

Here is my fourth poem that I have composed at my other blog, “Serenaded Softly”, since I took part in the A-Z Challenge:

Serenaded Softly

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Day Lily
Image Credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

“27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first…

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“B” Is For Begonia

I am participating in the “A-Z Challenge” at my other blog, “Serenaded Softly” I thought I would share today’s post here with you. 🙂

Serenaded Softly

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Begonia semperflorens (wax begonia)

Scripture reference;

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 KJV

Begonia semperflorens come in dwarf varieties that grow to be only 6″-8″ high, and tall varieties that grow to be 10″-12″ high. They come in white, red, pink, and salmon. Some have green foliage, and others have either bronze or a mixture of green and bronze.

Although often treated as an annual in planting zones 8 and under, they are actually  “tender” perennials that grow unhindered in planting zones 9-11. If you want to keep them for more than one season you will have to bring them indoors for the winter as soon as freezing temperatures are predicted.  Some can tolerate full sun, but most prefer partial shade, and rich evenly moist soil.

When treated with tenderness you can…

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