Living an ART filled life…“Creativity is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special. It is an openness to doing old things new ways…The creative spirit is part of our heritage as children of the One who created all things. And nurturing our creativity is part of our responsibility as stewards of God’s good gifts.” – Emilie Barnes, The Spirit of Loveline
What a good Father we have. He never withholds. He graciously and generously shares the miraculous with us. Made in His image, He allows us to join in the process of creating…experiencing the joy of seeing love brought to “life.”
I will be teaching a few Bible Journaling workshops near Dallas, Texas in September at The Hills Church in North Richland Hills for their annual Women’s Conference. Hope you’ll consider attending! Click the image below for more details!
Only 1oo miles from “The Silos!” -next stop…Magnolia:)
Do you ever get to the end of a great book and wish it would last longer?
This is how I feel about Beth Guckenberger’s latest book START WITH AMEN.
In Chapter 12 (the last chapter 😩), Beth writes this:
“I believe this is how God sees us, so firmly grafted into His tree that His history becomes ours. The stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are my stories. The tales of Daniel, David, Ruth, and Rahab are my family lore. Now that I am adopted into his family and considered a coheir with Christ, their faith is where I come from. “Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn” the prophet Isaiah challenged us (Isa. 51: 1). I am in this community, and by design, the more I identify with it, the stronger I will be.”
“The Bible calls the community that goes before us the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12: 1). They fought battles and stood firm. They trusted when it was hard and let go, surrendering to a plan written long ago. They embraced this live-amen theology in ways that leave me breathless…”
Isn’t it reassuring, that the cast list of THE GREAT WITNESSES are imperfect…just like you and me:)
God’s story, our story, is filled with “players” that have highs and lows, faith & unbelief, obedience and disobedience; but in the end…God uses them all for His glory and our good, and still does…the story isn’t over.
Our story isn’t over.
Our bloodline, our heritage…lies within this community of faith. A community of imperfect believers who were able to look beyond the circumstances of life on earth, because they obeyed. Through them, we can see the thread of God’s glory running throughout the pages of scripture from beginning to end.
AND…because of His mercy and love, He chooses to rebuild…sending “someone from the outside” to enter in and level the playing field…It was His plan all along.
We’re messy and complicated…a dysfunctional family at best, yet at the core, very simple.
God is love. God loves us, despite our wandering hearts.
And it is by FAITH & through HIS POWER that we are able to join this cast of overcomers…we’ve already been written into the story.
We can’t easily grasp the reality of what lies beyond our human reasoning and understanding, but the faithful witnesses listed below chose to hunker down and lean in hard anyway, setting aside their own agendas for the will of God…
forever “growing” our family tree.
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Heb. 11)”
We are in this together Sisters! You and me, Abraham and Noah…Rahab and David.
“And so amen. If you’ll ask me to administer justice and conquer kingdoms, so be it. If you rescue me from flames and swords and enemies abound, I’ll credit you. There is a better resurrection ahead. Amen. There is a communion with you I’ll prefer to any other. I confess my sins. Forgive me, amen. I adore you, your ways, your plans, your nearness. Where you go, I’ll go. I’ll struggle along the way, but I trust you’ll give me what I need. Oh, dear Jesus . . .”
Beth, I’d like to read more, but I know that the there is more story left in you. There is more to be written, so I will look forward to your next book…God’s good work in you, passed on to others.
“Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn” (Isaiah 51:1)
On day 2- my 3,2,1 response is I MUST STAY PLUGGED IN -TO THE SOURCE!
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples
The extension cord goes as far as I am called to travel:)
You’re energy for all things good will run out fast without that connection!
CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE FOR A PDF FILE OF THIS DOODLE 101
GOOD DAY! Today is a new week…a chance for a new start:) Thank you Father.
In response to Chapter 12 in Beth Guckenberger’s book START WITH AMEN.
The Book of Remembrance
Malachi 3 16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
“Those who FEARED the Lord SPOKE with ONE ANOTHER.” Community. The Body together.
“The Lord PAID ATTENTION & HEARD THEM…and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and & ESTEEMED HIS NAME.”
I really LOVE THE NEXT STATEMENT GOD MAKES!
“THEY SHALL BE MINE, says the Lord of hosts, IN THE DAY WHEN I MAKE UP MY TREASURED POSSESSION, AND I WILL SPARE THEM as a man spared his son who serves him.
My God…OUR God…pays attention to us, hears us, and WHILE WE ARE STILL SINNERS (against Him) He counts us as a TREASURED POSSESSION…granting us mercy through His grace.
But, we get up each day, forgetting the last act of tender mercy our Father showered upon us.
I TRY not to, but it happens in this mess of flesh in which I’m contained.
Anyone who know me, knows I have REAL trouble with numbers, dates, times, schedules. My bestest friends are so kind and full of grace and often reach out to remind me of things I am suppose to do and places I am suppose to be!
It’s so easy to get distracted…we NEED one another…read the above text again…
“those who feared the Lord spoke with one another …and the “Lord paid attention and heard them”
Over and over we are reminded in scripture…love one another, encourage one another, serve one another BE with one another…this is where God reveals the beauty of relationship…they way He designed them to be. It is the way He unifies the body for one purpose…to LOVE…in Him.
So in this section of scripture I am drawn to the truth that there are other ways that God teaches us to REMEMBER.
Remembering is critical…recalling His provision and faithfulness gives us the confidence to keep moving forward. God tells us so:)
Recording His truth, writing about His faithfulness, is key to REMBERING…
and in remembering, our FAITH is strengthened and reinforced.
This is what BIBLE JOURNALING is ALL ABOUT!
I LOVE what Beth’s says about it’s purpose…
“This record will benefit us on days when we forget where we’ve been and our appetites get the best of us. It’s a gift we’ll give ourselves and each other, and it can be left behind to encourage the saints yet to come. It should read like one long so be it and have the sound of surrender embedded in each line. In the end, all that we write, all that we’ve done, and all that we are comes from him. It’s with him and by him that we cry out, “Dear Jesus . . .”
If you are a journaler, take heart…”not only will you give yourself a precious and lasting gift… you will leave behind much needed encouragement for the saints yet to come!”
It’s Friday, and each week, to especially honor those of you who are following, I will be posting free art pages. Below is a weekly Bullet Journal page(s) that you can print off and store in your own cute 8.5 x 11 folder/binder. I especially like having some extra room on the weekend for fun Sat activities and Sermon Notes on Sunday! Hope you like them!!
For those of you who have noticed that things around here look a bit different…
I’ve had quite a time trying to improve the appearance and function of my blog. Oh, the poor tech helpers that have had to dig through my USER ERRORS!!!
Hopefully, the dust will begin to settle, and I’ll get things figured out. In the meantime, I apologize if I’ve caused you any frustration!
I unfortunately, had to change my site address…BIG UGH!!!! It is now 1arthouse.blog (NOT 1arthouse.wordpress.com) I was told that all followers would automatically be re-established. Hope that is TRUE!!!!
I think we hear the word obedience as a “four letter word.”
Why? Because we don’t like to be told what to do! And…we have our OWN agenda.
“I want what I want and I want it NOW!” -Veruca Salt
Speaking of not wanting to be told what to do.,..
When my kids were in Jr. High/High School, my husband and I would lay on our bed and call out…”Malcom In The Middle’s on!” And all 4 kids would pile on the bed and we’d watch and laugh together.
The show was quirky and funny, and completely rebellious…it was EVERYTHING “The Waltons” was NOT:) Though, the heart of the show was all about love and acceptance.
The title song from “Malcom in the Middle” always rang so true for me, and caused me to pause every time I heard it…laughing, with an edge of embarrassement because the lyrics were all too familiar.
“You’re not the boss of me now and you’re not so big…life is unfair.”
I think this message plays over and over in our heads. It is the same message that tripped up lucifer.
Within the theme of “it’s all about me” so, “your’e not the boss of me” a distorted view of obedience immerges. Oswald Chamber’s helps to put this into perspective. Below is from His devotional “My Utmost For His Highest.”
(Love Oswald…love this title…MY UTMOST… for HIS Highest)
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. —John 13:13 Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose— so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and effective domination, in which I acknowledge that “You are worthy, O Lord…” (Revelation 4:11). It is simply the unworthiness within me that refuses to bow down or to submit to one who is worthy. When I meet someone who is more holy than myself, and I don’t recognize his worthiness, nor obey his instructions for me, it is a sign of my own unworthiness being revealed. God teaches us by using these people who are a little better than we are; not better intellectually, but more holy. And He continues to do so until we willingly submit. Then the whole attitude of our life is one of obedience to Him.
If our Lord insisted on our obedience, He would simply become a taskmaster and cease to have any real authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we truly see Him we will instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our life, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. The level of my growth in grace is revealed by the way I look at obedience. We should have a much higher view of the word obedience, rescuing it from the mire of the world. Obedience is only possible between people who are equals in their relationship to each other; like the relationship between father and son, not that between master and servant. Jesus showed this relationship by saying, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). The Son was obedient as our Redeemer, because He was the Son, not in order to become God’s Son.
As we develop a closer relationship with our Lord, we begin to understand His character…that He is trustworthy, faithful, just, and loving. That He acts out of love for us…providing what we need as He guides us and grows us to be more like Him.
My Daddy…I want to be just like Him when I grow up:)
When you experience that kind of love and care, it is a natural response to want to please…to be…obedient…it doesn’t “feel” like a four letter word anymore.
Because our Good Father has only Good Gifts for us, He actually BLESSES us in our obedience. We are rewarded for it with everything we desire…love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. His desires, become our desires. We are one. His heart becomes our heart, AND if we are one, then obedience is not coming from the place of being a “servant” to our Father, but as a true “son.” (Daughter)
Our Father meets us in our obedience & following His “rules” gives us everything we’ve been searching for…what?! That’s not the message the world teaches us, is it?!
Be your own boss, don’t let anyone else tell you what to do, do what you want,..whatever feels good. If you’ve walked that path, you know where it leads…NOWHERE…or even further…it leads us to destruction.
“Let’s rescue obedience from the mire of the world!”
I love you Malcom, Hal, Lois, Dewey, Reese and Francis, but…
“Jesus is the boss of me NOW, and He IS SO BIG.”
And when He is the Boss…ALL things work for my good ❤️ It’s a promise from the PROMISE KEEPER.
God is mighty and just and He is faithful to bless obedience.
He moves MOUNTAINS through it…He restores people, and churches, and cities!
God WILL and DOES great things with the few and the weak. It is when He moves in the most unlikely places that we sit up and take notice.
Beth (Start With Amen : by Beth Guckenberger) takes us to one of those unlikely places as she shares the story of CITY REVIVAL in Chapter 11 of Start With Amen.
It began with a prayer, a dream, a vision…and through the obedience of one, God’s miraculous plan began to unfold in Monterrey Mexico.
“It was 2011, and in Monterrey, Mexico, where I was living, 1,782 people were assassinated in the much-reported drug war. The cartel conflict had grown so thick that by the fall of that year, people were no longer going out at night for tacos, a true sign of a Mexican crisis.” -BETH GUCKENBERGER
One Pastor, (Salatial) through the work of the Holy Spirit, moved from passive listening to action. I won’t go into all the details, because I REALLY want you to read BETH’S BOOK! The gist of the story is this. Against ALL odds, against the “push back of man” against the enemy who came to kill and destroy, one faithful follower began to do what God called him to do, without question.
The result… A CITY THAT TURNED IT’S KEYS OVER TO JESUS CHRIST! Can you even believe that? Just wow.
YOU REALLY MUST READ THE STORY FOR YOURSELF!
Man, what if that became a greater reality …throughout our nation and the world… Cities that publicly handed over the their keys to Jesus!!! Get out of town! No, really… it’s enough to cause the enemy to “GET OUT OF TOWN!”
It IS possible…with Christ ALL things are possible.
It starts with us. You and me.
What specific action is God calling us to do TODAY? TOMOROW, AND THE NEXT DAY AFTER THAT? It takes a ready heart, willing to listen, willing to set aside personal agenda for God’s agenda.
Like Salatial, we have mountains to move, and it starts one rock at a time. EVERY DAY is an opportunity that the Lord gives to each of us.
What rock is He asking you to carry, to move, to lift up? I want to be more intentional about listening for the smallest of details, and following though with the hard stuff.
Instead of throwing stones, I want to lift them.
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror” – Michael Jackson had it right.
It’s not about what someone else is or isn’t doing…it’s about me.
If we move the rocks God calls us to move, we can ALL have more tacos!
I am eager to share this little “doodle” and the the thought behind it with you today! It evolved from a 4 day lesson on Abiding that you can find on my blog by clicking here.
It is the basis of study for a 6 week Bible Art Journaling Class I am teaching presently at my home church,
Many of you have read here on my blog about the 3,2 1, method of study. (If you haven’t, see the link above by clicking on the word “here,” )
It is the process of prayerfully studying God’s Word, verse by verse by…
3 -re-stating 3 FACTS you have pulled from the verse. (plain and simple)
2 -asking 2 QUESTIONS and then answering them. (Questions like, “what does this tell me about God’s character, Is there a promise for me, Is there a warning for me to heed…)
1 -responding with 1ACTION
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
To remain in the Lord, to abide in Christ…I must give Him my first thoughts, my last thoughts, and everything in between. It’s all about staying connected to the vine…without it, we will wither and die. (separated from the Father)
If I get up, having not surrendered my thoughts, my time, my schedule, my family, & my heart to the Lord… I will not be fruitful, I will not fulfill my purpose, I will loose faithful ground, operating in my own power for my own glory.
If I am not walking with Him, I am walking away from Him.
Simple but true.
I want to open my eyes…and before my head lifts from my pillow…I want to thank the Lord for a new day…as I surrender it. It is rightfully His.
“MAY I DECLARE YOUR STEADFAST LOVE IN THE MORNING AND YOUR FAITHFULNESS BY NIGHT!” -PSALM 92:2
-and when the day is done, as I lay my head down, it is with a thankful heart, & with my last breath, that I praise Him. For He is worthy of all glory and praise.
1 RESPONSE (3, 2, 1) PRACTICAL APPLICATION
As we “steep” in God’s Word there is CHANGE that is meant to occur. Growth, designed to lead us toward our purpose. If we leave God’s Word (which is power) on the pages of our Bible, never having wielded our sword, we will remain unchanged.
It isn’t easy for us to turn off our me me me attitude. It is a common occurrence to become distracted by our own selfish desires.
It takes PRACTICE, to turn from our sinful hearts to follow the Lord.
We MUST decide to get practical with our application of truth. Practical with our application of surrender. It doesn’t come to us naturally.
“Pillow Talk” is something that I practice. It takes time, but with repetition and commitment it becomes a habit. Like brushing your teeth.
Eyes first awake …talk to God. Acknowledge that He is God and you are not…Thankful for the gift of a new day. Eager to do what He has planne for your good.
Eyes close at night…talk to God. Thankful for HIs provision. Thankful for the opportunity of growth, to become more like Him. Grateful for the promise of another new day…whatever it brings. He works all things together for our good.
First thought, last thought…of the ONE who gave all things life.
Practice makes perfect…I’ve got a lot of practing to do!
Until the day the Lord completes me.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” -Phil 1:6