Friday, March 18, 2016

Mystery of Art

Creativity has many different translations, but One Source.  Many outside things can effect creativity, change its course to make it lesser than its original true beauty…but it is when the outside works alongside of the Maker that transcends all other connections and that is when Beauty takes its many forms.  This is the kind of artist I’ve always dreamed to be.  Connecting man with Maker through His Beauty revealed.  The journey is still ever winding and not knowing what each turn holds, adventure with my Maker is one I never want to leave. 

There are other artists that unite a Beauty that I could not, and when I listen, look, or read there is a bridge that someone else built that I may travel on closer to Creator God.  I pray that you have these builders in your life…I thank Jesus for them. 

Art is something so tangible, but seems to have limitless boundaries while holding to ungraspable abstraction.  This mystery of art is what intrigues us all, and I pray points us closer to the First and Greatest Artist. 

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.”  Romans 1:19-20

Let me introduce you to some of the artisans in my life…
Design: Magnolia
Written:  the book of Psalm

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Constant Journey

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Verb (used with object), sought, seeking.
1. to go in search or quest of
2. to try to find or discover by searching or questioning:
3. to try to obtain
4. to try or attempt (usually followed by an infinitive)
5. to go to
6. to ask for; request
7. Archaic. to search or explore

This is the constant journey of the life of a Christ follower, full of some kind of action, energy, force, movement.  Some days are seeking with a steady, strong hand while other days are begging God to give us a desire to search.  The constant battle of flesh and spirit.  In my current state, I sought after God this past year with such angst, and He answered by showing me more of Himself which set me free from my fears.  This is the Glory of God.  Praise His Name! 

How can I testify all the ways Christ has proved Himself?!  He knows our every thoughts, desires, dreams, hurts, joys, sufferings, questions, even our speechlessness is covered through the Spirit when we go before His Throne of Grace through Jesus our Advocate. (Psalms 139, Romans 8:26, Hebrews 4:16, 1 John 2:1)  He is the Creator, the Most High God, He is a detailed God and there are times in our lives where He graciously reveals a brush stroke in our lives, a simple pressing of paint to the grander masterpiece of His plan. 

God is moving in my life, and it causes such an explosion of praise in my heart!  My faith has been renewed in such a way that I can’t express except to say: “My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:2-3) “Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8)  “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:18-19)  “The LORD redeems the life of his servants, none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” (Psalm 34:22)


Continue to daily read His Word in times of doubt and fear.  Continue to pray through tears and hushed pleas.  Continue to open up to those sisters in Christ, benefit from their godly wisdom.  Continue to reach through your darkness, ever striving to find His Presence.  Our feelings may betray us, but Jesus will never leave you, never abandon you, never disown you, never surrender you, never relinquish you, never give up on you, and He will never renounce His claim on you.  

Trust the Lord for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever. Take refuge in Him.  Search after Him in feast and famine.  He will deliver, and set you free in Himself… all the darkness you encounter in your Christian life is worth His Light.

In Christ I praise.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

FRIYAY and Fishing

My husband and I live in the Midwest.  After December 31st, I am ready for springtime.  Midwest living means that I am eagerly waiting for springtime about 4 months before springtime actually arrives in full bloom and blossom.  Although winter is still here and will linger another 2 months, Jesus deemed it so to be mostly sunny with high of 67 for today and tomorrow.  All praise, glory, and honor to Jesus!  Thank you!  Did I mention it is also Friday?  Oh, and it is Friday.

I love my job, I do…but there is still something about a Friday that makes my heart pound with excitement and joy.  I get to wear jeans, and everyone is a bit more relaxed and full of cheer.    Friday’s are known to be glorious, because they are just that.  

Around our household I am not the only one with spring fever.  My husband and I have been watching fishing videos for a couple weeks, and he is also ready for sunny with a high of 67.  We are ready for fishing.  One of my 2016 resolutions is to have the ability to take the hook out of the fish myself.  I can catch them, but for some reason when the time has come to release them, I channel the fear of an elementary silly squeamish school girl.  It is quite embarrassing and unnecessary.  So what did I do this morning when I realized the chance of fishing in the next 48 hours was high…I asked God to help me out.  Doing a word search in the bible about “fish” was extraordinary!  A little under 70 times it is used!      

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:26-18

What a beautiful picture of God.  Creator God, speaking about making mankind and giving them one of the highest honors of creating them in the image of Himself, and in turn with that, blessing mankind.  How humbling it is to be created by the Creator.  How humbling it is to be in His image, to be blessed by Him.  Amazing Grace.

My study didn’t end there, I kept on reading.  I came across this…

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way.  Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.”  He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.  The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.  John 21:1-14

There is so much to glean from this passage that I could not possibly write it all (which is another Beauty of Scripture).  Jesus is always ready to meet us, wherever we are, whatever we are doing.  I can imagine what Simon Peter was feeling and thinking but I will never know on this side of heaven.  Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade before he met Jesus, and since Jesus died on the cross and had risen from the dead, Simon Peter thought about fishing.  God brings us full circle sometimes, I know that has happened so many times in my life.  Maybe it was a comfort, maybe it was for sustenance, and maybe it was for relieving stress, for control, for something to pass the time.  I do not know.  What I do know is that Jesus met them and provided bountifully for them.  Simon Peter didn’t even see Jesus before he “threw himself into the sea”, he just heard John say “It is the Lord!”…Simon Peter put on some more clothes and jumped in to get to Jesus.  Simon Peter didn’t even take care of the fish…and it was his idea to go fishing in the first place!  Haa!  Jesus knows us so much deeper than we know ourselves, He created us after all.  Jesus not only provided instruction to where the fish were, but once they were ashore he had fish already cooking, waiting for them…and he asked also for what they had caught.  “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught”.  Jesus works with us with what he provides, and also what we have caught through His instruction.  Amazing Grace.

I needed to hear that today.  Have you ever wanted to know that God will provide for you what you need, and He also wants you to bring what you have done through His provision?  He is always working, and invites us to work with Him. 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:19-20

Praise the LORD o my soul.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Job 42:1-6

Job's Confession and Repentance

Then Job answered the Lord and said:
                “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
                Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
                ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
                I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
                therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”

One year ago this month, a shadow of doubt so dark and thick surrounded me so fiercely that I feared I would never enjoy His Light again, and I questioned if I had ever truly seen it before.  My head and heart are still bruised by my soul being tossed by the sick waves of doubt.  Its memory can easily haunt me still today…if I do not remember Jesus. 

With tears in my eyes, I come to Jesus with my weak hands asking for milk, for anything He has for me.  In my years of sanctification, this past year has been one of deep repentance.  It has been a year of realizing I had the knowledge of God, and still taking my works to Jesus as my right standing.  I knew about Grace, but I did not see it with my eyes until this past year. I am still a young student in Grace, and even though I have taught His Word, I find that I am even more an amateur in His Word than I ever thought. 

I learned saving faith is two sided.  It is believing and repentance, but the Christian life does not end there…it is a lifelong battle of wrestling our flesh and continuing in believing and repenting.  My assurance, is resting in the fact that Jesus has saved me, and continues in my molding.  Jesus never stops pursuing me, ever.  He never gives up on me, He never leaves me, He never lets me out of His Hand.  Day in and day out, He draws me to Himself, and as I see more of who He is…I see more of who I am, which brings me to dust and ashes.  There is such Beauty in the blessing of repentance.  Such Beauty.  We have been given the gift by the Spirit, to see God and see ourselves, but it doesn’t end there.  In Christ, we have been enlightened by the Spirit to believe and repent, and then by Grace to be not condemned because “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

The beauty of saving faith is that it is active and constant.  Praise the LORD o my soul! 

I can hear my voice in the words of Job.  I so often have the head knowledge, and in sin I do not connect my heart to the Truth of God.  I utter foolish things, I listen to the enemy’s lies, I am tempted to doubt.  I come to Christ begging for His teachings, ways, truth, and life.  I am not turned away with my questioning, but strongly embraced through the blood of Jesus and through the Spirit I see and the ways that are too high are made known to me.  Blessed be the Name of the LORD!

His ways are too wonderful for me, and yet Jesus made a way. 

My heart sings Gungor’s song Beautiful Things
“You make beautiful things
(You make me new)
You make beautiful things out of us
(You are making me new, making me new)
Oh, you make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust”

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9 (bold mine)

I rejoice in the praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ my Savior.  Amen!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Body Image vs. Image Bearing

Sitting here drinking my My husband is playing the guitar and singing all the best country songs including the ones he has written...they are my favorite.  My life is so blessed, so crazy blessed that most days I struggle with feeling guilty about it.  And yet, I am not happy. It plagues me most days, one small emotion can take such a deep root that it destroys all other wonderfully positive emotions. We all struggle with this to some extent. Some more than others, some of us are winning the battle currently and some of us just wish we could get some good punches in. Do you know what I'm talking about?.... Our body image.  

I'm coming clean, I am in a deep struggle. That holiday fudge and 20 cups of hot cocoa were so delicious and felt like the best thing...and now my clothes seem to be liars. When did this fit like that? This wasn't this tight? My face wasn't this round? Then the excuses start building. We've all used them, "whew, I am so bloated!"...4 days later we still a bit blimpie. I'm here with you. I mean how many times do I have to tell myself I'm just constipated after I've just finished in the ladies room with 12 sprays of Poo-Pourri. Girl, I know. How many of you wanted to make a resolution about being healthier, fitter, thinner...happier...and have made the same promise to yourself 4 years in a row? Friend, I have.

And I made it again this year, you know why? Because I am a failure. It's true. This is the time where all my friends come circle around me and tell me I'm not a failure and agree with all the excuses I've made and even tell me ones I haven't thought of. But secretly they need to know that it's okay...because they are also failures. Humans aren't perfect, except One. 

Some trick that I've learned in the past year is to come to terms with this truth instead of hiding from it. It's amazingly freeing because Jesus is right there with you saying...I know, I made a way for you. And you admit your constant defeat at the feet of Christ and all He has for you is Love and Grace upon Grace. Why don't we as women tell each other that in our circle pep-talks? It's because we've been invaded by our culture of feel-goods over true theology...even in the smallest of ways. We have grown up thinking the best of ourselves is what overpowers our negative emotions when the truth happens to be the opposite. We need to identify with our sin and shortcomings then we are able to let go of our failures and look to Christ in a way that is Right and Good and Holy. We realize we need Jesus, and that is where true happiness, freedom, and loving your image-bearing body even though it's a bit lumpy in the winter months. Christ gives us the strength to keep going when we've fallen the gazillionth time. It's a strength that comes from knowing He never fell and that makes Him able to be the only One strong enough to help you back up. 

Now, my weight loss process will be slow and I know I will have days and nights where if I try to pep-talk myself into more negative thoughts...but then I will remember Jesus. He is there to wash my filthy bad talking mind and replace it with His Truth, His Love, His Grace, His Beauty, His Strength, and best of all...Himself. 

Peace is mine through Christ alone. Praise the LORD O my soul.

Tomorrow is another chance to battle, and with Christ on my side I will have victory. 

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 7:24-8:4

Monday, January 4, 2016

For The Dreamers

The last day of the year are for dreamers.  We wake up from our backslide-slumber-stupor and are revived in lists of new possibilities.  For we were raised on dreams, and we crave the positive 'what ifs'.  With my generation, we are drunk on finding our true calling and are deeply affected by the way we are living in it or without it.  

This is when I loosen my grip, let my plans fall at His feet and say with my heart and mind "Your face, LORD, do I seek".  Giving God your past present and future doesn't mean you do not strive for what you've prayed for years, or dreams you've begged God to help. It means you seek Him, find peace in His plans, search out who He is in everyday living. 

I will again make my beautiful list of dreams for the next year.  Some selfish, some selfless, all desired to make some difference.  I pray for courage, life, adventure, bravery, strength, endurance, faith, love, hope, and joy all rooted in who Christ is for He is before all things and In Him all things hold together.

Mercies are anew.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Utmost of Unattainable

I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.” Isaiah 60:22b

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  Romans 11:29

Writing helps me.  It smooths emotions out and organizes thoughts that have become hyper children.  The problem with this is when God puts me in awe of Himself…in my current state of mind, my vocabulary comes up short when trying to write about this.  There is a reason the phrase ‘stand in awe’ is such.  You do not sing, or expound in verbal rapture.  You do not dance.  You do not take a photograph or paint a picture.  You simply just stand.  Sometimes I think that the only reason we are standing is that somehow our brain is shooting off so many connections that our bodies are at such a state that we do not fall to the ground, and are still able to be upright, taking it all in.  Although, then the next stage for me is processing…I usually sit for that one, which then the writing, singing, dancing, and what not come into the fold. 

My mind is a simple place in the grand scheme of life.  My thoughts are always running in fields of never ending dreams an imagination, and yet Creator God surprised me…still, He surprises me.  I love that about Him.  A random phone call, or verses that just so happen to collide the same week.  I stand in awe of His timing and plan.  I love that He is God.  I love that He has called me to be His child…in awe of His workmanship.  Just when I am tempted to think that I can out dream God…impossible to the utmost of unattainable. 

He calls us to a life of faith in Christ that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He does.  Amen.  So be it.  I start to question my faith when my trust in the Truth of Who He Is wavers.  You see, if I really let it sink in that God is Creator God, His Love is Pure Love, He is Sovereign, Holy Holy Holy, Perfectly Good, Christ Jesus is Savior and Lord, and the Gospel is Real…then my dreaming can take flight to new heights in the knowledge of God through Christ.  My hopes in life due to what my calling is, what gifts I have been given…if I live everyday knowing, trusting, understanding that Christ is LORD…I will not ever doubt in my dreams and passions.  I will trust that He will provide a way to explore my adventures deeper than my imagination…having me go to places I could not invent.  He calls me to trust and obey. 

I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it.” Isaiah 60:22b

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie.  If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  Romans 11:29

So be it my Lord Christ Jesus. 

Praise the LORD O my soul.