“AZALEAS”

Texas Azaleas

Special Texas Spring Flowers

Beautiful Texas Azaleas

The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.

 Notwithstanding the above quote, one of nature’s showiest and most beautiful flowers — the azalea — calls a large portion of Texas home. East Texas possesses the unique conditions demanded by these botanical beauties.

As winter begins to fade away each year, buds begin to appear on the Azaleas at our home.  Not only do I realize that winter will soon be replaced by spring, but our Azaleas will be in bloom.  We only have a few, but  around town many yards are filled with these colorful flowers.  Each spring we have an event called The Azalea Festival.  There is a route through the town named “The Azalea Trail” for any visitors during the festival.  

This morning before leaving for work I took these pictures.  My neighbors have much larger plants in their yards, but I chose not to go picture-taking in their yards.  We only have the two colors, but the neighbors have more plants and more  colors.  The neighborhood is really beautiful during this time of spring.

The Dogwoods are also beginning to bloom in the surrounding area and the forests have changed from the dead look of winter to the alive look of spring.  As Pam and I travel to Austin for our Longhorn Baseball adventures, we see the change from winter each trip.  The new life of spring occurs rather quickly.  It will not be long before the wild flowers will appear along the highways of Central Texas…Bluebonnets, Indian Blankets, etc.  This is one of my favorite times to travel to Austin. 

And while I am speaking of “new life,” my Longhorn Baseball team could really use a dose of that.  The pitching staff has been great overall, but the team is below par on offense.  They are suffering on the batting side of the game.  Both the outfield and  infield have been working like a well oiled machine.  But, as to the hitting, the Longhorns either have only a few hits or all the players are hitting…it’s like all or none.  Oh well, maybe they will start hitting the ball and  it will become contagious and give them a much-needed lift offensively.

New life is important to us all.  The new life of our landscape can be seen each spring and is an outward show of the God-given beauty for our pleasure.  God makes available to us each day a New Life through Jesus Christ.  This New Life does not shine from the outside.  It comes from deep within each of us and shines out to the world as an example of the Goodness of God.

I remember well the moment I received New Life.  To feel beautiful inside because of God’s Saving Grace is something I will never forget.  It truly is one of those unforgettable events in our lives that require faith and action on our part.  I pray each morning that the Inner Light will shine through me as I come into contact with others.

So, as we enjoy the new life of spring, let’s also celebrate the New Life that has been made available by what Jesus did for each of us on the Cross.  This will make the approaching Easter Season a very special day for each of us as we celebrate the victory of Jesus over death.  The New life we received is everlasting.

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