I looked into the rose; it was perfect. Not yet full-blown, yet open enough. The first bloom of spring.  I sat the bloom in a vase of water on my table where I could look at it and admire its beauty.  The perfume pervaded the room, establishing its presence.  I spent moments in contemplating   ‘perfection,’   the flower. I admired it, dwelt on its hue and form.

I gazed into the heart of the flower. A thought came to mind. I am looking at the Lord. He created this flower in all its glorious tinges. No blemishes anywhere.  It was the personification of my Lord in his perfection, his beauty, and holiness. No wonder they called him the Rose of Sharon. Of course, whatever Jesus created it would be flawless. He was Mr Perfect himself.

It is easy to love the rose, its colour, beauty, perfection, how we love to collect the perfect thing. Build the perfect home, surround ourselves with what we call perfect.  How we strive to become perfect we who are not perfect but marred by rebellion against God.  For all our striving we cannot give ourselves a makeover.  No matter what our efforts are, we are still less than perfect.

P1320370.JPGThe scripture says, ‘You must be holy, for I am holy,’ (1 Peter 1: 16.NIV) as holy as God is holy and perfect.  We weep at our inability to attain that holiness or perfection.  The wonder of it is that when we embrace Jesus, let him into our lives; he imparts his perfection to us. He makes us as faultless as himself and like the rose, we give off the sweet aroma of Christ in us which the world around us cannot ignore.  ‘“For we are unto God a fragrant savour of Christ,…’ (2Corinthians 2: 15-16 NIV)

I cannot take my eyes off the rose, its beauty, its perfection. I can never be a part of it or it of me. On the other hand, Jesus made it possible for me to be a part of him and he a part of me. The miracle is that ‘I am crucified with Christ: and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ (Galatians(2: 20. LB) Jesus made it possible for me to be part of him and he a part of me.

The rose will die. Jesus died. I died with Christ. The rose cannot be resurrected. Jesus arose from death. I rose with Jesus. He carried me with him into the Father’s throne room. We are one, ‘for you have become part of him,’ (Romans 6: 5 LB). I now live in Perfection and Perfection lives in me. We are one. All who accept and believe Jesus, he has made them joint heirs with him. (Romans 8: 17)


I can only bow in worship of One who bent down and gave me his faultless self and told me, that by his offering, he has made me perfect in the Father’s sight,’ Hebrews 10:14.

I shall not forget the rose nor the Rose of Sharon, Jesus.

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‘What a shot!’ No, we are not talking about firing a gun but taking an image with the camera.

Photography is made easy since digital cameras were introduced. If an image is not to our liking, we can delete it or use a photo-editor to improve it. Digital cameras have given the layman various options to choose from. Digital cameras can almost talk but there are still rules to observe if we want an image of beauty.

Rule of Third


For the beginning photographer, the rule of thirds is a good way to start taking satisfactory images. A composition is aided by the rule of thirds. Modern cameras have a grid which sections of the view-finder into thirds.

The subject is aligned with the grid at a point where the grid lines indicate a third. The camera is focused upon the subject, and the button pressed and the image preserved. The rule of thirds can create great pictures. Some people find the rule of thirds restricting and break the rule.  The rule of thirds is only a guide and rules are made to be broken.


Composition, or the arrangement of elements or subjects into a pattern, a line or giving balance to the scene, creates a beautiful image. The arrangement or composition will draw the eye into the scene and focus on the subject we want to emphasise. Which could be a snow-capped mountain, a river, a shack in a forest glade.

The camera is a way of saving a scene or preserving a precious memory of a loved one, a holiday or celebration. Each of us retains the memory but we each have a different view of the event.  To have an image to view helps preserve that memory correctly.

When we think of God, we each have a different image. We see him as a loving Father, a creative Spirit, angry and judgemental.  Depending on our image of God, we either fear him, reject him or are drawn to him. Our image of God often depends on our experiences in the family and upbringing.


Our interpretation of the same image will differ according to each person. It is amazing how several people can view the same image yet interpret it differently. The individual interpretation of the image will be correct yet it will differ from other’s perception. To present us with a correct image of himself, God has sent his son Jesus to live among us. In Jesus, we have the perfect image of God.  The writer of Hebrews says, ‘God’s Son shines out with God’s glory, and all that God’s Son is and does marks him as God.’

Jesus is recognised as compassionate, standing up for the downtrodden, binding up the broken-hearted, providing for the poor, healing the sick, powerful, yet loving. In Jesus, we see God the Father. God wanted the world to have a clear, sharp view of himself and Jesus is the true image, the precise image. ‘Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God.’ Colossians 1: 15 LB. We can hardly say now that we can’t believe in God because we haven’t seen him, for we have.
Jesus the son is the seamless composition of God.  Everything points to Jesus who is the flawless image of the Father.  Applying the rule of thirds to Jesus, there are many images, Mary washing Jesus’s feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. Jesus sitting on a boat preaching to thousands.

Rule of thirds

Jesus has brought us into the very presence of God.  He has shown us the unearned favour of God. Above all, Jesus, by his death, has shown us how passionate the Father’s love for us is.  God has wiped out everything that stood between him and us. There is nothing standing between us and God any more. The part we play is accepting Jesus as Saviour and inviting him to come and dwell in our heart by faith.







‘You stink pretty,’ an Aussie larrikin believed he was paying a compliment to his wife.

For some people wearing perfume continually is their signature.  They want to be recognized by that particular perfume even if they cannot be seen. Also, they want to create a fragrant aura about themselves that is attractive not only to the male species but everyone around them.

Ann Hamilton drew attention to the fact the ancient Egyptians used perfume believing it was the sweat of the god Ra. They wanted to be as great as their god and also to attract him and persuade him, perhaps, they were his subjects and belonged to him.  I suppose the Egyptians might have had a point because people working and moving in the sun can’t help but sweat and smell. Sweat in the Old Testament, however, was a symbol of self-effort which God rejected as a stink.

Ann reveals that each of us has a unique smell which is as individual as fingerprints or retina markings. Ann suggests that in Isaiah 11: 3, we will be judged not by sight or sound but by smell, ‘he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes or decide by what he hears with his ears.’

How many times have we heard, ‘don’t show fear because the wild animal or creature will sense it and attack? Stay calm and it will move away.’  I can’t help feeling that the phrase, ‘delight in the fear of the Lord,’ does not mean fear but awe. Could it be that the Lord recognizes each of us by the scent of awe which emanates from us?




I am not a perfume person. I have been given gifts of scent but the bottles sit in my cupboard unused. Wearing perfume is not important to me as my signature or identification.

Since becoming a Christian it is my desire to be known by the fragrance of Christ. As is quoted in 2 Corinthians 2: 15 for we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.’  How can I be so arrogant as to claim that I exude the aroma of Christ?  Simply because Christ lives in me.  Remember the scripture? ‘It’s no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.’ Gal. 2: 20. Dare we say that we are not a child of God?  Dare we say that we do not exude the aroma of Christ?


                                             Be Fragrant, not Flagrant’  Susan Greenwood


Everything about Christ his character, his personality, his very being and above all his sacrifice for you and I was a pleasing aroma to his Father. ‘This is my son in whom I am well pleased,’ God declared.

The aroma of our service, the aroma of our good living, the aroma of how hard we are trying to be a Christian is a stink rather than a sweet fragrance.  It is the aroma of Christ alone that God is wanting to smell.

The aroma of Christ in us is all God wants. When God gets a whiff of Christ in us, then he knows we are one of his children.


As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved around us’ 2 Cor.2: 15. LB



P1330221.JPGChrist in us is our signature fragrance, it exudes from us, we don’t have to work to set it free, we just have to be and everyone will know our particular aroma is Christ.




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Entering a restaurant and being waited on is sheer luxury.  Chefs cooking delicious food and waiters or waitresses bringing it to the table is sublime. The waiters fill your glasses, fetch the coffee, enquire if the food is to your liking, are you happy with the service. Your every need is anticipated. One feels important, very special and affluent.

My husband Bruce, and I have just celebrated our sixty-sixth wedding anniversary by have dinner at a local restaurant.  Separated from the crowd in an alcove, we dined with our son and daughter-in-law.  We were waited on, congratulated and fussed over.

Recently, the camera flash of revelation went off as I sat in church musing on what was being said and done. There are a number of Bible verses that urge us to wait on God.
My understanding of waiting on God was to spend hours, days in prayer, reading the Bible all the time, mind blank, just waiting. Waiting on God in this fashion, I was led to believe would bring about miracles, revival, healing, moving God to answer my prayers. I found this kind of waiting on God hard work and dismally failed.  No wonder it was a struggle. When compelled to do something, it becomes legalistic and dead, in the end, one fails.

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What if there was another meaning to waiting on God similar to the waiters and waitresses? Waiting on him in praise and adoration.  Delighting myself in his presence, seeking out his every need, fussing over him, as it were.  Psalm 37: 4 and 7 say, ‘Be delighted with the  Lord…Rest in the Lord…’


Don’t you yet understand? Don’t you know by now that the everlasting God, the Creator of the farthest parts of the earth, never grows faint or weary.’ Isaiah 40: 28


I became excited and worshipped him. I mused on the love that God had for me.  I was both enthralled and awed at his love that overlooked my rebellion and insistence on independence.  I waited on God, fussed over him, cared for him, listened to him.  Waiting on God was never so easy and sweet.


In olden times, Israelite priests were forbidden to wear woolen garments next to their skin. Fine linen garments must be worn. Linen was a type of God’s grace. Woolen garments caused sweat and perspiration was a type of self-effort. ‘they must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire.’ Ezekiel 44:18, 19, LB.
It is clear that God hates the self-effort of his people. He denounces our efforts to make ourselves acceptable in his sight by calling our righteousness a dirty rag.  For us to be righteous and meet God’s requirements of holiness and purity we must accept Jesus ‘Christ.

My first understanding of waiting on God was mostly self-effort. I wanted to please God but it was out of duty. I waited on God because I was told to not because I wanted to. There is a difference.


‘The more you trust Jesus and keep your eyes focused on him, the more life you have.’

Joyce Meyers


The camera flash showed another way to wait on God and please him.  Praise, worship, adoration, and thanksgiving was the way. Offering praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing is proof that we have accepted what Jesus has done for us and that pleases God.

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We can wait on God washing clothes, doing dishes, eating a meal. We can leave the bustle of life and be quiet, set ourselves apart to bless him, thank him and adore him. This way of waiting on God is effortless.



Let me close with the scripture that set off the question of waiting on God, ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40: 31 LB.







In past times, boys with a penny could buy magical toys and sweets.  Their joyous expectation to buy almost unbearable. Entering a shop to pick from an array of sweets was mouth-watering.

Bruce and Peter, with their friends, discovered a source of untold wealth, while exploring.  Gaining access to the local Institute through an unlocked door, the boys discovered a pile of empty Woodroofe’s cool drink bottles.   The bottles displayed single flowers at the local Agricultural Show once a year. No one expected the bottles to vanish so they lay carelessly under the stage.

The owner of the local store reported to the Agricultural Show committee that a group of boys was returning empty drink bottles. The bottles came from the Community Hall. Like wildfire, the news spread and the Committee held a council of war. The boys hadn’t committed the crime of the century.  They needed to learn though, the bottles weren’t for sale.

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‘Come here, you boys, ’ Bruce and Peter’s dad undertook the task of explaining the bottles were not for sale.  He probably guessed his sons were among the young bottle-o’s.  ‘Do you know who is taking the bottles from the Institute?’

‘No, we don’t know, Dad, ’  the two boys assured him innocently.

‘Well let me know if you find out, ’  Dad glared a warning at his sons.

Dad’s love for his sons found a way to warn them that broken rules are punishable. If more bottles disappeared though, results would occur.


Like Dad God found a way to let us off the hook for breaking his laws. God loved us deeply. He wanted us his beloved children to commune with him from the beginning.  Before we were twinkles in our parents’ eyes.  Jesus, God’s only son, his beloved son undertook the reunion. Through his death, Jesus gave us the gift of goodness with the gift of life lasting forever.

Rebirth of our spirit took place when we accepted Jesus as our Saviour.  He took away condemnation and guilt, results of our rebellion against God. Jesus stood in for us taking our rebellion on himself clearing the way for us to become the beloved children of God.

night cross