God does: scatter enemies

Have you ever thought about letting God take care of your enemies?  Being in the presence of an enemy does feel like standing in the fire.  What if we could envision them being scattered like smoke away from us?  What if we trusted that God would give us the words for these people–or the peace to walk away from them and scatter ourselves?

Jesus said we need to turn the other cheek….but He did NOT say we have to stand there and let them.  We have the power and the permission to Do–to walk away.  And actually walking away gives us the most power over our enemies.  They can’t have power over us if we aren’t even there.  And usually it confuses them!  How do we have the peace to walk away?  God!  How does that work?  God!  And maybe, just maybe, that will start the process of turning their hearts to Christ.

God has more power than we can ever fathom.  If we trust Him to scatter our enemies, His enemies, He will.  He will protect us.  He will guard our hearts and minds.  And He will keep us safe.

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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God is doing: freedom

Something God is continually doing?  Setting us free with grace.  Clearing us with forgiveness.  When we let go (a DO) of bitterness and distrust we feel calmer, more peaceful.  When we let God guide our words (a DO), we don’t have to worry–we know God will fill our mouths with love and forgiveness.  When we let GOD DO in our lives we give up the control and He drives our lives in better places.  That is what God wants most!  Is for us to be so close and trusting of Him.  And He will give us a sense of freedom in all situations.

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What GOD is doing

This may seem contrary to the last post…think less, do more.  When this one declares see what God is doing NOT US.  But actually they work perfectly together.  When we think less and do more, we are actually giving our thinking over to God and we are following our hearts, working in action and faith.  We let God guide our actions.  We let Him lead us when we give Him the control, when we don’t overthink things.

Have you ever imagined a conversation with someone in your head and then it never takes place?  Maybe that is thinking too much.  Maybe God knows those words shouldn’t be said, or that it isn’t the right time yet.  Or maybe you just don’t need to think it, but do it–say it, go do it–but let God guide your words.  Then see if what comes out are your words or His.  And His ways are always better.

When we give the credit to God and don’t take it for ourselves there is a sense of peace.  Humility doesn’t mean we don’t have pride in it, but it means that we realize we are doing things for a higher good.  We realize that we don’t need extrinsic rewards–the intrinsic love and grace of our Savior is enough.  And we are doing through Christ in obedient gratitude.

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Do more Think less

Just do it.  Be odd.  Refuse to be like everyone else.

Love.  Share.  Forgive.  Light.  Relax.  Let go.  Do.

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Mighta been

I don’t want to look back on life and wish that I had made sure my faith was stronger.  That I had shared it more.  That I had grown it more.  I don’t want to wish that I had been more myself, more odd.

Now is the time.  Not yesterday–it is already gone and too late.  Not tomorrow–it may not come.  NOW.  Be odd now.  Be different.  Refuse to go one more day without Jesus in charge of your life.  Refuse to go one  more moment without grace and love.  Refuse to go one more day without sharing that light with those around you in a grace and love filled way.

Don’t let it be a mighta moment.

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Being Different

I do not want to fit in.

I look around and see a lot of unhappy people caught up in the ways of our world.  I see people who are bitter, angry constantly, fearful, judgemental.

I refuse to be one of those people.  Do I fall into the ways sometimes.  Of course, I am human.  It is hard work to NOT be those things.

But I refuse to be that way all the time.  I make a conscious effort to be odd. I consciously refuse to stay in those habits.  I want to be odd–I want to shine like a beacon of light to the broken and help them find wholeness through Jesus.

Do you?  Do you refuse to be who everyone else is?  God created you to be YOU.  Not anything else.  Not like anyone else.  Do you refuse to be in the dark, but to stand in the loving, lightfilled embrace of our savior?

If I need to fit in, I want to fit in to God’s expectations.

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Being Different

Sorry for the lack of posts last week.  Homecoming, kid activities, an art teacher conference, and a printer/computer breakdown had me bogged down, exhausted, and I never got the posts completed last weekend.  But after some fun time learning new art teacherin’ stuff and then a 3 hour nap today I am feeling rejuvenated.  If only I had one more day to play in my studio now!

Sometimes I just sketch and then paint a bunch of random artwork when my Bible study for that morning doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a painting–or maybe I have done that verse, love the completed piece and can’t get past it to make a new one.  So I end up with random blank art.  And then I cruise Pinterest for quotes that might fit.  I have always been a sucker and collector of other people’s words–wise, sentimental, or sarcastic.  Apparently ones about standing out and being different stood out for awhile, because there are several that I can share with you this week.

But they still can connect to faith…because our life should be intertwined with our life.  Not something separate.  Not something we leave behind.

So Dr. Seuss says that we have to be odd to be number one.  Well.  We are different.  We are odd.

We have acknowledged that we sin and are not in control and will never be perfect.  We have embraced grace and the love of our Creator.

Those are things that are pretty contrary to today’s American culture that strives to control, “keep up,” and judge and grudge.

But hopefully our oddness does make us stand out.  And in a good way.  Hopefully we are the leaders in our homes, workplaces, and communities.  Hopefully we are making impacts in positive ways.

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

I read this in a new context.  I always think of “magnify” in terms of “worship”, “praise,” or “exalt.”  But this fall I did a unit I called “Looking Closer” with the kids at school.  It encouraged stopping and peering at the tiniest bits of creation and how it is artfully designed.  I put a variety of photos on a bulletin board with a magnifiying glass so they could look really close.

And this made me think…how am I a magnifying glass for Christ?  If Christ is in my heart am I enlarging, boosting, maximizing, amplifying (synonyms are so fantastic!) how others see faith?  God?  Jesus?

Or do they see an exaggeration and hypocrite?

If we are a lens to how people see Christians we must make sure we are enhancing the life of Jesus by emulating his life and teachings.

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Opening Ourselves Up

Do you ever read the scriptures and something new stands out to you?  I know this is why people refer to it as the Living Word.  God uses his mysterious ways to help us apply His word and teachings to fit each of us in each situation.

Sometimes we get a deeper meaning than just the words the first time we read a passage.  Sometimes it takes 2 or 3, sometimes 200 or 300, readings.  The important part is this:

  1. Opening our hands to  hold the scriptures–it can’t affect us at all unless if we don’t have contact with it.
  2. Opening our eyes to really read the words and contexts on the page.
  3. Opening our minds to seeing relationships, the pasts, and the futures.
  4. Opening our hearts to feel God’s presence.
  5. Opening our self completely, our very soul, to accept what messages God is sending.

 

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Aspire

Here is our call this weekend.  I know I am not the only person who struggles with getting pulled to the dark.  Let’s stand in the light, in the rainbow.  Let’s aspire to GIVE as God gives to us.

Peace be with each of you.

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Fresh Start

God gives us continual fresh starts thank goodness.  I can’t say it any better than the very words of God:

Psalm 85The Message (MSG)

A Korah Psalm

85 1-3 God, you smiled on your good earth!
    You brought good times back to Jacob!
You lifted the cloud of guilt from your people,
    you put their sins far out of sight.
You took back your sin-provoked threats,
    you cooled your hot, righteous anger.

4-7 Help us again, God of our help;
    don’t hold a grudge against us forever.
You aren’t going to keep this up, are you?
    scowling and angry, year after year?
Why not help us make a fresh start—a resurrection life?
    Then your people will laugh and sing!
Show us how much you love us, God!
    Give us the salvation we need!

8-9 I can’t wait to hear what he’ll say.
    God’s about to pronounce his people well,
The holy people he loves so much,
    so they’ll never again live like fools.
See how close his salvation is to those who fear him?
    Our country is home base for Glory!

10-13 Love and Truth meet in the street,
    Right Living and Whole Living embrace and kiss!
Truth sprouts green from the ground,
    Right Living pours down from the skies!
Oh yes! God gives Goodness and Beauty;
    our land responds with Bounty and Blessing.
Right Living strides out before him,
    and clears a path for his passage.

The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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more Jesus

Obviously the last proves I need more Jesus, and less of my ego in play.  How about you?  Are you in this predicament too?  Are you thinking your way is the only way?  You have to control everything and everyone around you?  You need to tell everyone your opinions?

I am fighting this.  And I need to get out of the way and let Jesus do it.  Follow His thinking.  Let Him control.  Let Jesus’ opinions matter.

Yep, more Jesus.  Less me.  It’s always a win win situation.

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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.

 

 

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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.
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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.
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