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
Writing to you from CO. In awe of my surroundings and the abundance of blessings the Lord provides!! I feel like I walk around repeating…wow! Wow…wow… GLORY all around!
That last little “bundle” is my brand new grandson…Charlie:) Poopah and Mimi have the other two so Mom & Dad can catch their breath!
Currently, we are in Ezekiel, as this journey continues with reading the Bible in a year.
Each Biblical Prophet had the same underlying message: return to God. The Israelites suffered from the same disease we see today…me, me, me. God who? It’s all about what I want, what I can get. I WILL find my own “happiness” 😫There is nothing good that comes from this…just a lack of “fruit.”
Like Israel,wechoose to align our hearts with the world in self focus without giving the One who created us a thought. This is our natural response…we are rooted in pride.
-In the pride of his face the wicked doesnot seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” Psalm 10:4
It is just too easy to get caught up in the me, me, me. To see beyond ourselves, we must be engaged with the Holy Spirit. Only He can give us a greater perspective! With my limited view, I will always be disappointed.
I want to look in the mirror and NOT see myself, but Christ in me. As I gaze at my own reflection, I am caught up in the not good enoughs & the need mores…instead of my true identity, which is whole and complete in Christ.
Oh, Lord, give me your eyes to see beyond myself and a heart to love You and others first.
Yesterday, a Pastor at my church was scheduled to give a sermon, but could not speak due to illness. The decision was made to show a video of a previous guest Pastor’s sermon. Our sermon series this month is called PREACH IT, which is designed to rotate guest speakers while our lead Pastor takes a summer study break. <—great idea & need for all Pastors! ❤
The video shown was a 2016 message from Dan Southerland, Pastor at Westside Family Church in Kansas City.
“Dan is a Kingdom-minded, Kingdom-expanding pastor who has planted 19 churches in the Greater KC area and over 200 house churches overseas. He has a passion to continue mentoring and consulting with pastors and church planters. He has a colossal vision and has truly been willing to become all things to all men that he might by all some means save some. Everyone who sits down with Dan for any amount of time leaves impressed, encouraged, and emboldened with a fresh perspective of what they need to be doing in their own ministry setting.” -BRKC
It can sometimes feel a bit disappointing to watch a video or live feed, when you are expecting to see a Pastor preach “live.” Dan Southerland was NO disappointment!!!
His message was about the “JESUS MISSION” to SAVE ———-> the lost.
Dan declared that the church is to “plunder hell and populate Heaven” here on earth…that our primary purpose is to join Jesus in saving the lost. Anything else is self serving.
He encouraged us (as the Church) to do this in three ways.
“Get up in the morning and report for duty!” Ask Jesus what He has planned for you today, and follow orders:) Dan shared that he prays this prayer in the shower every morning “Lord, here I am. I’m reporting for duty. Put someone in my path today that you have prepared to receive Jesus, so I can speak of Him!.” “I gotta find someone to snatch out of hell!” <———love that:)
“If you give ALL of YOU, Jesus will give you ALL of Him.” “I will Be rich in my next generation.” Dan reminded us of the woman who offered her last 2 mites. She gave ALL she had and is rembered to this day for her sacrifice. God sees what man overlooks.
Jesus cursed the fig tree. (Matthew 21:18-19; 20-22 and Mark 11:12-14; 20-25.) Cursing the fig tree was Jesus’s way of saying that the whole nation had become spiritually barren before the Lord. They had the form of religion but not the reality. They knew the right words to say, but their hearts were far from God. They had no fruit. We are to produce fruit, this happens when we abide in Christ. (John 15:4 ) We are called to ——->
“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20
Dan said there are “good churches, great churches, & GOD churches.
He said that our heart should beat for the lost…
”Jesus wants His kids to find their way home”(Dan Southerland) the church needs to want this too. We are the church ❤️
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR THE PFD
I missed Dan the first time around…I’m so glad I was able to hear this great message!
Lord, draw us to yourself so that we might love with your heart, eager to report for duty…because someone’s life depends on it.
Those of you sweet friends who are following my blog, know that I have been posting about the “classroom happenings” as I teach a Bible Journaling class using the READ SCRIPTURE APP. (As we read through the Bible in 1 year)
This week, I touched upon the idea of using shapes and lines to create lettering structure, and inluded a handout with some very basic (certainly not complete) guidelines for overall page design.
Below are the PDFs. Hope these are a help to you as well!!!
I’m so blessed by all you readers and fellow Sisters seeking the Lord through creative journaling!
I’m so “drawn” to these verses from Colossians (3:15-17) A sweet friend shared this passage with our Bible Study Leadership team recently as an encouragement for us to overcome our fear of not measuring up… (thank you Susan!)
We are ONE BODY…all important in the unique role we play. When Christ “rules our heart” there is no room for fear and doubt…all we have is love for one another!
Below you will find the free printable page for these verses.
Print these out on card stock and cut them into 7 x 1.5 inch strips that will fit right into the margin of our Bible!
Print one 8.5 x 11 sheet and cut it into 2…one for YOU and one for a friend!
I have left the PDF file black and white so you can color them in:)
If you’d rather, you can trace them through your bible page:)
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.”
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)
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.