Archive | music and song inspired

Children of God

Just listen to this song…No Longer Slaves/ Child of God by Bethel Music…it is everything I have written about this week.  It is so very comforting.  I often listen to music as I paint and I knew I needed to capture this.  My image came out as a vine of flowers, a blueprint in the background, one big beautiful flower, surrounded by others, that keeps on going and going, blooming in grace and the blush of love.  Your image might be different.  Just close your eyes and soak in the promise in the lyrics of the song.

Be blessed today dear ones.

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The River

Here is the song that goes with this one:  Jordan Feliz The River.  They lyrics are great.  It pumps me up to want to ask for forgiveness in confession and be washed.

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Rejoice

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I was supposed to fly to Atlanta this morning.  I was going to meet with Leslie and be on a tv show with her again.

But the big season of crating decided to hit.  We never know when it is going to happen.  All of a sudden Jeff will just have a ton of jobs and is gone 12 hour days.  You would think people know when they are moving.  LOL  But plans change.

I know about changes in plans.

I think that is one of the reasons I have a strong faith.  I need that stability of God–knowing He will carry me through it all.

That is something I can rejoice in.

 

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Verbs: #6 Watch

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More verbs!  Everywhere we look thee is advice to follow in our world.  which do we choose to do/follow?  Where and when to we get God’s answers?  That there is the tricky part.  Listening for what GOD is saying, not some person on tv or the radio.  And the hard part is when you want an answer right now, but you have to wait months for one.  Because of course, God works in His own sweet time.  Bugger.

God totally has a sense of humor about this too–I am not kidding.   That Lauren Daigle song “Trust in You” came on every time I got in the car for the last three weeks.  I finally put in a cd because I couldn’t take it anymore.  Then…I finally handed it over and trusted, and I got an answer.  And I know it is what HE planned, because it wasn’t what I had thought would happen.  I know in my heart, it is from HIM.  I just had to watch for it.

Here is the song if you don’t know which one…Lauren Daigle “Trust”

 

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Joy and Gladness

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I am back from St. Maarten.  Oh, it was a lovely week.  The colors of the island, the smells of the ocean and Caribbean food, the warmth of the sun it all refreshes me in a very deep way.  I painted a lot.  🙂  Every morning I would still wake up around 7, get a cup of coffee, grab my supplies and find a spot in the resort to plunk down.  The exceedingly friendly staff always checked on me–and delighted in what I was painting.  I became known as the painter/dancing queen (that had more to do with my dancing at night LOL–I do like to cut a rug).

Mostly, I was drawn to the creation of God.  I sat down to paint the buildings and the houses on the sides of the mountains and it just never felt right.  One morning I went down to paint the beach and the umbrellas.  Not right.  So I wandered around and found some of the iguanas that are all over the resort.  (Lazy, funny little buggers.  You can get right up close until they finally scurry away in fright.)  It was the creations of God, not man, that felt right each morning.

Now this painting is and is not a creation of God.  We attended Easter morning church service at a Methodist church in Phillipsburg.  Such a fun time!  There was a full hour of boisterous, celebratory hymn singing before the nitty gritty of the service.  Nothing fancy or exceptional.  Just happy people singing old old hymns.  You could hear all the voices mingling in that church.  The church itself was the teal blue in the painting with white trim.   And in the front of the altar stood the most jubilant cross ever: made with God’s creations—bright pink island flowers covered the entire thing and it was 10 feet tall.  It was magnificent!  And so, so joyful.  They started the service with the words, “We come before you with joy and gladness in our hearts.”  Loved it.  So I went home and painted it of course.  I will never forget that Easter service, it is etched on my heart.

I hope that you had a joyful and glad Easter as well!

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Amen Hallelujah Praise the Lord

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How fun is this? Being a part of Bible Stories from the Heart and my BSF Bible study have introduced me to a more vocal style of worship and prayer.  And I have surprised myself that I like it.  A lot.  Although, really it isn’t that surprising.  I am a fairly vocal person.  I just had to warm up to this and get used to it.  This is not how Scandinavian/German Lutherans worship and react–we nod our heads.  Hence the bobble-head incident when Leslie and I were on tv my last visit to Atlanta.  So now I vocalize AND bob my head.  Oh yeah.  It is quite the combination.  But God gets it.  He knows I am reaching out to Him in voice and body.  And that is what really counts.  And that was the lesson I needed to learn.

One that I get to practice this weekend:  this art is a perfect send off–I am headed to Atlanta this weekend!  Leslie and I will be hosting the kick off for Bible Stories from the Heart’s “New Beginnings” study at 12 Stone Church in Atlanta on Monday night for almost 100 women.  What a blessing to be sharing in our praise of God together this way!

I can’t wait to see what lessons I learn this weekend.  And I can’t wait to share them here with you.  Keep us in your prayers!  Love you all.

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Celebrate with Trumpets

blow the trumpet

Let’s celebrate our confidence in faith.  Get out there and enjoy the seen and unseen.  Get out there and enjoy our faith in the unseen.  Celebrate the confidence we can have that we are strong, even in our weakest moments.

That is a lot to celebrate.  Those are reasons to blow the trumpet.  All the time.

Even the lonely call of taps is a celebration of a job well done and a day well spent.  A call to celebration and strength of what has been, and what can be.

And isn’t that what sharing our faith should be???   Celebrating light and love.  Keeps rolling around to that for me.  Light and love.  Not rants and raving on sins, but sharing the celebration and calling others to gratitude.  And obedience just seems to follow in gratitude for the celebration.  Have you ever noticed that?

Yes, let’s blow the trumpet.

 

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White as Snow

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I love this old hymn.  I painted this one last year during the spring actually–all the pear trees were in bloom and it seemed like it was snowing out there were so many white petals on the breeze and in the new grass.

Right now there is real snow on the ground and I need this reminder of spring.  🙂  But I do love a fresh snow fall.  The fat flakes so big that you can see the intricate designs.  The tiny bits of glitter flakes that sparkle in the sun.  The wet ones that cling to the trees and make it a fairy wedding world.

And…I like how all of those visuals remind me of how Jesus forgives my every sin when I hand them over to Him.  He makes me fresh, blooming, glittering, a new bride.  Isn’t that a wonderful picture in the mind?  Imagine yourself that way.  In my head, that is what I want to look like in heaven as an angel.

Here is a version of this song.

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Be Made New

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My devotions this week included the story of Sodom and Gomorrah –which I had forgotten this was from Genesis, I was thinking it was later in the OT–but anywhoo…  In the commentary by David Preuss he made several points that fit perfectly with my theme this week on the blog that I just have to share with you.

“There has been no ‘golden age’…yet there is a great temptation to begin living in the past.”

“Nostlgia for the past is understandable.  If it becomes a hindrance to positive forward action it is destructive.  It will harden its adherents into an unmoving block of salt.”

Well said David Preuss.

We all know someone who is so bitter about the past that it colors every relationship of now because they just can’t let go. Maybe it is even our self.  I know I have been there, and when I finally realized the truth of the situation it improved those relationships dramatically.

We all know that person who still reminds everyone of their “glory days”, yet have nothing to show for a new life.

We all know that person who demands that life was so much less violent before–um, hello?  Have you studied any of the revolutions?

Maybe kids were more respectful and independent long ago–they were also orphaned as children, worked in factories (child labor), and grew up poor.  Wait…weren’t half of them refugees from European countries?  Isn’t that how most Americans originally got here?

We must remember there is always the other side of the past–the parts we hide from ourselves to make it all look better in our memory.

There is also the other half of our TODAY:  being made NEW!  We have an opportunity every single stinking day to get it right.  Especially when we call on Jesus to help us with that.  Remember our focus yesterday?  Light and love.  Love and light.  That is part of being made new.  And it can be awesome when we let ourselves enjoy a new day, a new opportunity, a new reality every day.

And if you want a little music inspiration to help:  Lincoln Brewster’s “Made New”

 

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Searching for an Inn

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I lied…I kept listening to the Piano Guys and came across this one and got another idea!

Code Name Vivaldi (Bourne Soundtrack/Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto) – ThePianoGuys

I am a DIEHARD fan of the Bourne movies.  LOVE them, watched them over and over, love the music soundtracks (had one as a ringtone).  It is something I share with Jeff and my dad–we even let the kids watch the chase scenes they are sooo good.  I know, crazy.

So what the heck does Bourne have to do with Christmas and being an innkeeper???

The searching.  The never giving up to find out who we truly are.

 That is what this week leading up to the birth of Christ is!  Right?  Mary and Joseph searched and searched for a room, and there were no guest rooms/upper rooms available (plus who wants to go up stairs when you are labor???)  So they stayed in a stable.

The Hebrews had been searching for a savior.  The wise men were searching for a star.  The shepherds were searching for what the angels announced.

We are all searching to find out who we are, for the IN:

we are God’s children.  We are LOVED.  That is who we are.

We just have to open up the stables in our hearts and acknowledge it all–let it all in–throw open those doors–let all those other searchers in and just roll with all that love.

So:  directions for today:  listen to the song, imagine Joseph and Mary searching, imagine the Hebrews searching, wise men searching. US searching.  Feel the urgency.

Then, realize, as they all did, we found the IN

Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of All who Loves and Commands us to Love Like Him.  

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Draw Nearer

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Here is today’s link to music:  The Piano Guys:  Nearer My God to Thee

This art piece has all sorts of layers of meaning:  I originally just drew it to focus on Jesus this Christmas, then it became our cover piece for the Advent art/coloring/drawing workbook for Bible Stories from the Heart.  But my favorite:  my cousin’s daughter rearranged all of their nativities (they have 3 or 4) so that every piece is facing the baby Jesus and they are in TIGHT.  Super close.  She is DEAD ON!  That is how we should all go to the manger–up tight and close facing the Christ.  May we draw nearer to our God.

And here are the lyrics to this hymn:

Lyrics

  1. 1. Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer to thee!
    E’en though it be a cross
    That raiseth me.
    Still all my song shall be
  2. (Chorus)
    Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer, my God, to thee,
    Nearer to thee!
  3. Though like the wanderer,
    The sun gone down,
    Darkness be over me,
    My rest a stone,
    Yet in my dreams I’d be
  4. There let the way appear,
    Steps unto heav’n;
    All that thou sendest me,
    In mercy giv’n;
    Angels to beckon me
  5. Then with my waking thoughts
    Bright with thy praise,
    Out of my stony griefs
    Bethel I’ll raise;
    So by my woes to be
  6. Or if, on joyful wing
    Cleaving the sky,
    Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
    Upward I fly,
    Still all my song shall be
    Text: Sarah F. Adams, 1805-1848
    Music: attr. to Lowell Mason, 1792-1872
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Where Are You Christmas?

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Here is today’s link to music:  The Piano Guys Where Are You Christmas?

I have said it before, I will say it again many times I am sure:  Christmas can be hard.  So let your self remember right now…I know a lot of people see cardinals and think of loved ones:  in fact there is a poem about it.  And there is nothing more beautiful than a bright red cardinal against a snowy white backdrop.  Today, as you listen remember your loved ones who are no longer here, and remember the joys of Christmases past, and know that they are thinking of you and loving you and missing you as well. This cardinal is your sighting for today of your loved one in your memories.  May it bless you.

Song by James Horner and Will Jennings:
Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter you used to bring me?
Why can’t I hear music play?
My world is changing
I’m rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too?
Where are you Christmas? Do you remember
The one you used to know?
I’m not the same one, see what the time’s done
Is that why you have let me go?
Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you, Christmas, I know I’ve found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas?
Fills your heart with love
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Strong God–and a bit of a soapbox on shootings

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This is from the song “Strong God” (Writer(s): Meredith Andrews, Jason Ingram, Jon Egan).

(link and verses at the bottom)

This is such a powerful song.  I pulled it up for the link, and as it started to play I had to stop writing, I just sat and rocked, listening and singing along–and it has that effect on me every time I hear it.  It stops me in my tracks.  As Jon Egan, the writer, says in another video, he based this song off Psalm 68.  He wanted it to be “a massive proclamation of truth, to sing out”.  He achieved that.

Our strong God is so needed.  The latest mass killing in California saddens me.  But even more so, I saw this article from PBS news about all of the mass shootings in the US in 2015.  We hear about some of them, but only a select make national headlines.  That is what is really sad.  The number of people shot in Chicago on a DAILY  basis is alarming.  2, 771 have been shot this year just in Chicago–on average EIGHT people every day.  THAT is really sad.

This weighed heavy on me yesterday, especially as I listened to others discuss this incident.  And I came to two conclusions:

  1.   There are a lot of people who need our STRONG GOD.  It is not guns that shoot people–it is people shooting people. People who are sad, and mad, and lost, and hurting, who feel unloved.  These people need God in their lives.  And not Christ shoved down their throats God.  But gentle, sweet assurances, deep help for what is wrong in their bodies, brains, and hearts.  They need to know there are other ways.  So today I am singing this song to the powerless, to the father of the widows, to the weak, to the prisoners of hate and sadness that God will move in their hearts.  And I will do what I can for those around me to spread His love.
  2. I will NOT BE AFRAID.  I heard a Christian radio station morning host talking about how he is afraid to let his kids go places because of the shooting.  It ENRAGED me.  Really–I was yelling at the radio in the car.  (I know..strong reaction…maybe a little crazed myself.)     But this is why I got mad:  we are not to be afraid.  We are the ones who are supposed to trust our Strong God in all circumstances.  We are the ones who are supposed to go out and help these lost–NOT HIDE in our homes and cower in fear.  If we are afraid as Christians then our culture is in even worse shape than I thought.  And as those numbers up above tell–if we are going to hole up in our homes afraid of a shooting, we  might as well never leave because it happens every stinking day in every stinking place.

Our nation is at war.  We are at war with ourselves.  We need our STRONG GOD.  Focus with me on Him, pray with me for our nation this weekend that we will stop fighting each other.

Father to the fatherless Defender of the weak

Freedom for the prisoner we sing

This is God in His holy place
This is God clothed in love and strength

Sing out lift your voice and cry out
Awesome is our strong God mighty is our God

You’re with us in the wilderness faithful to provide
Ev’ry breath and ev’ry step we see

There is no higher no
There is no greater no
There is none stronger than our God

 

 

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Power in His Name

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Inspired by this song:  Break Every Chain sung by Jesus Culture

A little on this artwork:  I was listening to this song, thinking about rocks–I think I painted this about the time I wrote the stepping stones series.  This time I was thinking of the purity of Christ and the whiteness of marble.  I was thinking about broken chains and just how hard that is to do.  About all the things He does, that I want to do with Him.  And this came out.

Notice the word at the top of the pile is the word I have been focusing on:  obey.  And from there I wrote ways to obey.  These are all ways I can do what Jesus is calling me to do.  And when I call on His power to help me do these things He shares with me–strengthening me in ways I will never imagine.

There is power in the name of Jesus.  There is.  There is power.

He breaks every chain holding us to sin, to the Earth, and He makes us pure in heaven with Him.

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