Tag Archives | Atlanta trip

Good Lord Show Me the Way

Scan-012I love this old spiritual.  I first heard it in the movie /on the soundtrack for O Brother Where Art Thou, which is one of my favorites.  Sometimes the words of the song will just flow in my brain.

 This is the link to listen to Allison Krauss’ haunting version of Down to the River to Pray.

I have one more Atlanta story to share that uses this song, a story of how the trip almost didn’t happen, except for this song and God’s intervention.  It is kind of long, but a good one.

We thought we were dropping me off with plenty of time to make my flight on Thursday morning.  We forgot…this was O’Hare.  I ended up in this crazy line for the TSA security point.  It not only snaked through the ropes, but all the way down the ENTIRE terminal.  I stood in line for 40 minutes before I reached where the ropes were.  I was getting sick with nerves.  I stayed in line another 15 minutes and realized:  my plane was already boarding.  I was not going to get through this line and have enough time to get to my gate.  What happens if I miss this flight?  This was a cheap ticket…will they bump me?  Will I miss my meetings? Will I even make another flight?

As I had been moving through the line, I kept wondering, “Is there grace for people who didn’t get here two hours early?  Will they expedite me at some point?”  And the song started playing in the back of my head.  Good Lord, show me the way.

When I got to the ropes, no luck.  I kept following.  I got to the next point where they expedite.  I asked the agent if there was a way and she quickly replied I was not a person that could go through her.

I felt panic FILL me.  I was literally SHAKING.  I finally closed my eyes and took a deep breath and let the prayers come:  Jesus, I know you want me in Atlanta.  I feel that you need me there to do your work.  Please bless me Jesus.  Open a path, to do your will, to do your work.  Let me make this plane.  Good Lord, show me the way.

I heard the song.  I took another deep breath and opened my eyes.

I noticed the agent looking at me.  She cocked her head to the side, opened her eyes wide, and said,”  You know honey…if you ask nicely and explain, usually people will be kind and let you cut in line.”  My jaw dropped open.

I have to admit:  I do not have a lot of faith in the kindness, understanding, and willingness to let people cut in line in Chicago.  Chicagoans are SERIOUS about their lines.  They are used to them and they expect everyone to follow the rules.

But I tried it.  AND IT WORKED.  It was amazing.  Maybe it was the crazed look in my eyes, but as I asked people in groups of 5-10 at a time, they let me ahead.  I went ahead of 50 people easily.  They let me ahead all the way right up to the scanner and then the agents were wonderful and did it very quickly as they were looking at my ticket and giving me directions to my gate.

I took off RUNNING.  By this time it was 6:25 am and my flight left at 6:30.  I had five minutes to run through O’Hare to my gate.  But God made a way.  I would see groups of people ahead of me, and they either heard me coming (I was dragging my suitcase, clicking flip flops, and breathing hard) or God moved them– because they would clear to the sides and I would go right through.

I was the last person on the plane, and it was almost full.  They literally closed the doors as I got on.  I sank into my seat, panting.  And prayed thankgsiving and praise to God.

He showed me the way.

 

 

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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I am not Alone

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Another way He blessed me and led me last week:  I met with Camille and her peers at Reformation Productions in Buford, GA.  Camille is writing a book with a really fun story and great way to praise God.  She chose me to design her logos and book cover. During the meeting we brainstormed what the feel for the book and designs really should be.  I learned so much!  About the decision making process, about her book, about designing.  It was really great.  We didn’t make any hard decisions, and that was okay.  I got so much out of the process.

I truly felt His presence through the entire process of last week.  There were so many moments when I started to feel sick to my stomach with nerves and worry.  Sometimes it was feelings of excitement and giddiness and little goosebumps would pop out on my arms.  There were moments when I was so worn out I just wanted to lay down and fall asleep.  But each time, I would close my eyes, wait a moment, take a deep breath, and it was like I could feel Jesus standing beside me, holding my hand, guiding me to the next step.

He walked straight in front of me guiding me through the process.  He knew I would be fine.  He knew He would fill me with the words and whatever else.  And I knew, I could let Him.

That feels amazing to me; to be able to trust so fully in something beyond me.  To be able to know that He is planning, and looking ahead to make sure that I draw closer to Him, if only I will follow.  For there is the kicker:  He has plans that are to bless us with His love, not necessarily to give us earthly things or what we think we need.  If I choose to follow my own path, make my own decisions and go places without God, I am negating and working against what He wants for me.  I am taking the process of growing closer to Him away.

Sometimes it is not about the big decisions, or outcomes.  Sometimes it is just about the walk with Jesus and knowing He is right there.

 

Go, Tell, and make disciples of all nations--spread the good news.
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The Tongue of a Teacher

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Isaiah 50:4 Tongue of a Teacher by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

Last Saturday morning I taught a class at the cutest little place, The Rustic Couch, in Duluth, GA.  Ann, the owner is the best and I absolutely love her style!  The whole place is full of color and textures and great flea market finds.  We sat outside on the fun patio with 13 women and got deep into our souls to praise Jesus on paper.  God blessed us with gorgeous weather, gorgeous women, and the wonderful Maurice Hicks ( I will share his new movie/documentary trailer later this week) captured the whole thing on film for us.

There were several great moments:  at one point I was teaching how important it is to let your authentic self shine through on the paper and a balloon popped!  It was like Jesus was clapping His hands Amen!  I got goose bumps all over.  Because that is one of my favorite points when teaching:  it is not about copying my style, but learning from my techniques and using them to put what we each uniquely see into the art.  I don’t like to have them copy my art for the class, I encourage them to paint their own colors, add, and subtract as they need to.  It works:  the funny part is that most of the time, the finished product will match what they wore to the class that day!

I am so thankful that God has given me the tongue of a teacher.  Now, my kids, I am not so sure.  Especially when I reprimand other kids out in public when the teacher can’t hack it anymore.

But seriously, I LOVE teaching and bringing God’s creativity to people.  When I can help them notice the beauty of His world, the power of His words, and then see them put them together–writing it all on their own hearts and spilling it out in praise to Him, my heart overflows.  Literally.  I often leave classes singing and praying to God for those blessings.

I am blessed that God made my spiritual gifts pretty obvious and that He is giving me a huge avenue to share them right now.  I pray that it continues, that He blesses me, and that I am able to share those blessings with others.  That I am able to encourage another round of people to use their gifts of teaching and art to praise Jesus.

 

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

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Psalm 145:21 My Mouth will Praise by Nicole Plymesser Nelson

I have so very much to praise God for these days!  Last week was an absolute whirlwind of art activity, speaking, praising, teaching, selling, God promoting craziness I tell you!  Each day this week I am going to share a piece of what happened.

I traveled to Atlanta.  Leslie Eaton and I promoted Bible Stories from the Heart all weekend and were on a wonderful Christian show.  Yves McKenzie was the best host!  He made it so easy and comfortable.  We talked about our interactive study, how it came about, how it is growing, and how it can bless people with a different approach of studying the Bible with art.

We had the best time…and the producer must have thought so too…because she is connecting us with the president of their station and thinks we should be on a show they produce that is syndicated around the nation.  MMMHHmmm!  Or as Yves would say, Amen!!!  I looked like a bobblehead nodding every time he said amen because I wasn’t used to all the amens.   My white girl, Lutheran, Midwest -ness came out!  I will do better next time though–holding my head still and at saying amen.  🙂

Leslie and I were both so excited that the Spirit filled our words with what we really needed to say.  We prayed that it would bless someone–even if just one.  We made some wonderful connections with other guests, the host, it was just a great experience.  I think we blessed a few people if I do say so myself.

The feelings were overwhelming this weekend; we were both on such a high of praise and energy.  It was exhausting!  But at the same time, I want to keep that feeling flowing.  So I will continue to praise God as much as I can, from the depths of my heart.

 

 

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