Abiding

What do you see in this piece?  I see a hot mess:  circles, patches, flowers, clean and dirty colors, words, layers, music, and more.  And I see an overriding shape–the heart of white dictionary paper–and Christ in the center of it all.

It is not easy to abide in Jesus.  That is for sure.  Every time I think I am being a “good” Christian I realize I am screwing up left and right.  For example this very scripture.  I am not keeping my dislike of some people in check.  Even though their actions might disappoint, confuse, frustrate, and sadden me.  I cannot hate.  And that is hard.  So freaking hard.  Especially when their actions are directed at me, or someone I love, or children.  I get mad.

Read the excerpt and the art verse from the Message translation:

1 John2: 4-6 If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.

7-8 My dear friends, I’m not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you’ve known it from day one. It’s always been implicit in the Message you’ve heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you—the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!

9-11 Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.

Guess I am still in the dark.

Thank goodness God’s grace still has me covered.  And you.  God understands that I am human and that I am going to need reminders.  And at least I am reaching for the light.

We are binge watching Glee and the last episode I watched tackled Judaism/Christianity/atheism.  It reminded me why I need my faith.  It gives me hope.  It gives me direction.  It gives me grace.  It gives me a place of love to abide.

I know I am not a perfect Christian.  But I know I abide in Christ, and He in me.  And you too.

 

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Crazy

Just a fun one to end out our week.  I loved this quote from Pinterest and it fit perfectly in this abstract painting I did while on vacation this summer.

If you knew me personally, you would see this proved daily.  I am pretty rambunctious–especially around my people/tribe (little kids LOL).  They inspire me to enjoy life and look at it through their eyes.  Have you ever seen littles helping each other, inspiring each other, encouraging each other.  It is awesome.

Now of course it does end up with some eye poking in the end.  But they turn around and just start playing again.

And the crazy fun continues.

That is how I like dealing with life—crazy.  Not “normal”.

Try it this weekend–go a little crazy.  Be a little silly.  Be loud.  Run and skip.  Color your arms and face.  Eat something yummy and lick your fingers and your plate.

ENJOY life.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Tremble

I started this school year with a unit about looking closer at nature and drawing what we see.  Sometimes all it takes is slowing down and really peering closer to notice the presence of God all around us.

With all of the natural disasters that have been happening I have been thinking more about how God is in all of creation.  Is the earth actually trembling right now?  Is it God trying to get our attention?  To turn to Him?  To notice we need to be helping each other not fighting?

I don’t know.  But it is definitely something to ponder for today.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Contagious

I often hope that my faith shines like a beacon–not just to encourage others for their own sake, but that it will be contagious–that it will spread like moss and cover everything it can.  I want that trust and hope to become seeded in others.  I want their faith to come alive.  I want them to be beacons also.  If we can spread encouragement like little spores three or four times a day, maybe it will spread the good news farther than we can ever hope.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Encourage

Just remember this.  Wise words from Isaiah…all the way back when.  And advice we still need to follow.

It can be hard to step back, reflect, and find positive ways to handle situations–especially when anger and disappointment are clouding our thinking.  But it is so necessary.

Try to find four ways to encourage, help, inspire, and praise today–one of each. Let’s see how it turns out.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

You Heard

I did a little research on this verse–specifically supplications.  It is not a word we hear or use often.  So I wondered what does it mean specifically?  I know God hears our cries for help.  But what are these supplications exactly?

I went to the dictionary and found this:  the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.

Right underneath the Google definition was an article from www.gotquestions.org   Unlike the prayer of petition, which is praying on behalf of others, the prayer of supplication is generally a request for the person praying.

We have been praying for others a lot this week.  Sometimes it easy to pray for ourselves, sometimes not.  I don’t know about you but I usually start with petitions for others and I often run out of time to get to myself.  I throw in a quick confession and ask for grace, but I rarely ask for specifics, or even just a bless me in this situation today God.  How about you?  I know when I do take the time, it is worth it.  It isn’t that I don’t think God will answer my supplications, I just don’t get to them.

But at the end of the article I found this that made me feel better:  Because we often don’t know what or how to pray when we approach God, the Spirit intercedes and prays for us, interpreting our supplications so that, when we are overwhelmed by trials and the cares of life, He comes alongside to lend assistance with our prayers of supplication as He sustains us before the throne of grace (Romans 8:26).

How awesome is that?  No matter what God hears and knows the cries of our hearts!  He is great indeed.  We are blessed indeed.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

The Flood

Even further back in the Bible is this crazy little story about God flooding the whole darn earth.  Not just an area, not just a country.  Not a house, not a resort, not a business.  But the WHOLE earth.  Talk about a disaster of epic proportions.

Floods.  Earthquakes.  Millions of people are being affected by them all over the world right now.   We don’t know what will happen next.  Where will be affected.  Who will be affected.  It is scary stuff.  We could blame global warming, we could blame the solar eclipse throwing everything off whack, we could blame all sorts of different stuff. We could hide.

Or we could do like Noah, climb on the ark and stay afloat.  Wait it out.  And then praise God for the lives spared. Praise God for all those who have another chance.  For He has promised that no matter what storms come–no matter what reason–He will not flood the entire earth again.  He will bring us to Him and to what is truly important–not the earthly possessions and homes–but the heavenly love and shelter of Jesus we can all have.

Continue sending prayers for them.  Lift up those in the Texas and Florida  and the Caribbean and Bangladesh and Mexico, and other areas, up that they can keep their eyes on God through it all.  That they can find the ark that will give them hope and carry them through this storm.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Wakens My Ear

Isaiah is in the Lutheran lectionary cycle this year.  Every week there is a passage to study from this book in my devotions and I must admit I am really enjoying it.  What I should do is take a break and read the whole book in its entirety.  We shall see…I kind of like bopping around, too.

But the thing that strikes me every time I open up to Isaiah is the parallels to the times nearly 3000 years ago.  It shows me that no matter what kinds of technology we have developed in this “modern” age (because doesn’t every generation consider itself so?), we as humans really have not come that far.  We still have the same issues, sins, concerns, worries.  We still need God.  We still need to turn to Him for direction, acceptance, love, and hope.

Morning by morning I continue to open the Bible and paint.  I continue to look to Jesus for grace and guidance as the Bible calls me to do.  And I have never been disappointed.  It may not be the words I wanted, but they are always the words I need.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

My Eyes Are on You

I love, love, love this version sung by Kristene DiMarco of My Eyes Are on You.  I almost always end up closing my eyes, raising my hands to God in praise and prayer and swaying–no matter where I am when it comes on.  If I am in the car I literally have to pull over because I just get too emotional.  It Is Well with My Soul has always been one of my favorites, and this just takes it another step.

On this day we mark the anniversary of September 11, 2001 and the terrorist attacks.  But I always think of so many other attacks, so many other days when people have lost their lives.  This year I am thinking of all the people this month, each year around this earth that face natural disasters.

It is well with our souls.  Our world might seem to be crumbling.  But.  It. Is. Well.  with OUR SOULS.  Through it all.  Because our eyes are on our Savior Jesus Christ.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
2

Persist

One more on this topic.  Simple.  Just one fun word.

  • continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure.
  • continue to exist; be prolonged.

Persist in faith.

Persist in your seeking for solitude with Jesus.

Persist in the obstacles and waiting and prolong your movement.

Continue to exist in Christ.

Do it firmly–even obstinately (that is a fun word too!).

Nevertheless, persist.

Love to you all!

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Just keep moving…

Take that time of rest.  But sometimes the relief doesn’t come right away.  You have to wait for the project to pass, the meds to kick in, the healing to take place, the move to happen or new job to start, Lord knows there are a lot of stressors!  It can be so easy to sit back and just let it happen to us, to wait for God to take care of it.  Well, more often than not He is giving us tools to deal and cope with the situation on our own so we can learn from it and grow.

Darn parenting technique.

So while we wait, might as well use those tools.  Might as well do some moving of our own–and usually that moving will bring us closer to Jesus.

Again, darn parenting technique. He is good.  Well played God.  Well played.

It’s not always easy being His child, but it is so worth it.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
2

Taken Away from Calamity

For the righteous –the believers, the ones giving griefs to Jesus, the ones trying their best to be a light–but the ones who are still going to sin

Are taken away–will leave their shells of human form and let their souls transcend–either at death– or in prayer and worship

from calamity–an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster

and they—that’s us people

enter into –will gain access

PEACE –mental calm, serenity, tranquility

Yep, God was working on this message way back with Isaiah.  And we still need that reminder.  We still need to practice getting this one right.  Did you find some solitude with Jesus yesterday?  Did you do it again today?  You should really do it everyday.  The more the better.  I highly recommend it.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Solitude

Matthew 14:  12-14  Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.  When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.

I painted this at the beginning of summer because I saw a picture and liked it, so I stole it and changed it to make it my own–total normal artist thing.  I couldn’t decide on words, and really I didn’t want any on there.  I wanted it to be in solitude.

Then in August I was reading this passage that leads up to when Jesus feeds 5000 with fish and bread.  But look at the words I put in bold.  And notice why He was slipping away–to grieve John the Baptist.

I started thinking about other times Jesus tried to find solitude.  Most of the time according to the gospels He was not successful, and most were to grieve something already done or coming, and each time something bigger comes after.  The poor man never had a break.

But God never does take a break.

But I love that He was modeling in the gospels that we should take breaks.  That it is okay to grieve and want solitude to do so.  We may need to grieve death–we may need to grieve mean things people said to us, or stress that got the better of our day, or something that probably will never live up to our expectations.

Jesus understands.  Not everything is good in our lives.  And that is why He never takes that break–but He plans for our breaks, He plans for our eternal peace when we get to Him.  He plans to be our light and hope.

Take time today–on this day of rest from labor.  Give Him your grief.  He will turn it into something bigger and more wonderful than you can imagine.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Be with God

So check this…I make all of this art, and then months later it finally gets finished, scanned and put on the blog.  And I rarely post it in the order I originally made it.  Because a lot of times God designs it that way.  For example this week’s pieces.  I saw that theme of BE so I decided what order they should be in, started writing, and connecting each one to what is going on right now.  And then I came to this one.

Do you see those sun shapes?  Do you see the white glowing in the letters?  All that LIGHT?  My call that all I want is to BE in that LIGHT with God??? Maybe I am just getting emotional writing today (because I am crying as I type this)…but I don’t think so.

To me, this is the BEST part about the Bible and faith–it is GOD, living and breathing, speaking to us each day through His words and works.  And I just want to be a part of that so badly!

And then when I see evidence of Him working it just makes my heart burst with warmth and light and it spills out my eyes.  It can be hard to be His light and beacon–we might still feel like that hot mess.  But He truly does hear and see us.  He truly does reward those who call on Him.

I hope that you believe this too.  I hope that you are looking for Him.  Being with Him.  Letting Him fill you with His light and then shining it bright to others.

Christ’s peace be with you all.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

BE the sunshine…

It has been the coldest and rainiest beginning to a school year I can remember.  Even the day of eclipse was dark and grey–the whole day.  Which I have to admit I wonder how much that phenomenon has messed with all of the weather.  I have been wanting some bright sun and blue skies!

The beginning of our school year in our building has not been very sunny either.  There are A LOT of changes this year and it is making a lot of people quite snarky.  It can be difficult to find some sunny attitudes when you walk the halls.

So I decided, as I often do because that’s just how I roll, that I needed to be some sunshine–the beacon of light.  I need to laugh and let God flow through me.  I have Him with me, reminding me I am not a hot mess, calming me– and hopefully it will destress some of these other people.  But it isn’t ME doing it, it is GOD and what He calls me to do.  Recognizing that difference is crucial.  Knowing that the light comes from another source and just fills me makes it brighter and purer.

Try it today–see if it changes your attitude being the sunshine to others, see if it changes their attitudes.  It might, it might not.  I haven’t been completely successful.  But knowing it is God guiding me sure helps it roll off my back and lets me keep being His light.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: