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.
I want to share the process of speaking truth in love in a personal way with you today.
This is something I talk about often, especially with women in my close circles. As a wife and mother, I have learned this lesson MANY times over the years. The receiver will have closed ears if they hear even the hint of anything other than LOVE. (Anger, frustration, condemnation, etc.) Motivation to speak “truth” often comes from these places of frustration, anger, etc. and changing this natural human response could only happen once I acknowledged my own need for correction, and…that without the power of the Holy Spirit, I would not be able to deliver truth IN LOVE. (The message would always be slighlty tainted by “my flesh.”)
Correction is important to our growth, but until it is motivated by love and tempered with that love the recipient will not “hear” a “hard” truth. NONE of us like to hear or “see” our own faults and stumblings.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, or lose heart when He rebukes you. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” -Hebrews 12:5,6
In order to speak truth and have it be heard, we must first develop trust within the relationship. It is only through time that we can develop a “track record” of loving responses that will enable the other person to see our true motivation is a matter of the heart.
In the ancient world salt did more than just make French fries tasty. Before refrigeration, salt preserved meat to keep it from spoiling. These dual purposes – flavoring and preserving – offer context to verses like Colossians 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Asking questions, listening, and seeking to understand is a great start to this. We can also encourage people with Scripture blended with snapshots of how we experience it personally.
We can give people a taste of Jesus.
My wife experienced this firsthand recently. We had just bought four chickens and put a coop in the back corner of our property. Our neighbor’s dog became obsessed with them, feverishly sniffing along the fence and refusing to do his other backyard business.
A few days later my neighbor saw my wife in our yard, stormed over, and confronted her.
“I’m not okay with the chickens,” he said.
My wife was taken aback, but she took a breath and whispered a prayer before responding.
“Can you tell me what’s bothering you?” she said. “Maybe we can work something out that would be good for both of us.”
His demeanor immediately changed, as he was expecting defensiveness. It was like my wife had disarmed a bomb, and through peaceful conversation they were able to agree to a solution.
This salt-seasoned interaction with my wife warmed him and our relationship has grown ever since.
So, back to the my personal story:)
Yesterday, I created a post and Doodle 101 regarding Wisdom. Below is the original image I created.
Later that day, a sweet online friend and Sister in Christ sent me a message that was salty, BUT tasted good:) In her message, she tempered truth with such love. She began by encouraging & supporting me, and in a gentle way, asked me about the modesty of the image of “wisdom” above.
She said…”Somehow wisdom with a hint of immodesty don’t seem to go together.”
In all honesty, I hadn’t given it a thought! Often, when I create a drawing tutorial, I consider what will be the most simple and direct way to the end goal. When I drew lady wisdom above, I wanted to draw a simple top, using minimal lines. I also wanted to convey a hint of grace and a posture of “knowing.” I instinctively drew what I would call a “ballet scoop neck” without even thinking about her slightly bare shoulders.
I have to agree with my friend, any form of immodesty and wisdom do not go together! Thank you Sister, for taking the time to not only encourage me, but to also speak truth in a loving way!
I especially liked something else she said that further “tempered” this truth she delivered…
“I totally mean it with gentleness and love, one sister speaking with her sister to maybe help her to see something that she may have missed. Kind of like I would say to a friend that may have some broccoli stuck in her teeth. :)”
What a beautiful example of speaking truth in love.
For those of you following along with me on this journey to read the Bible in a year…
I have not been so diligent in creating visuals for awhile! It is “quite the reading schedule” and some weeks I am doing well to simply “listen” to the daily assigned Chapters! I am so very thankful to the creators of the READ SCRIPTURE APP for the AMAZING highlight videos they produce!!! They really help me stay focused ❤
In the video this week, Wisdom is described as a skillful artisan who excels at her craft to create the “good life” (intended for us ) We read that the key to the “good life” (full of fruits & hope for our future) begins with the fear (reverence/Righteous respect) of the Lord.
Check it out below!
Are these videos amazing or what?!
In order for us to “digest” all that Proverbs has to offer, we must start with 2 things:
1. A deep understanding of WHO God is and WHO we are NOT….fear begins when we recognize our Creator’s Authority & Sovereignty.
2. and this comes from the revelation of the Holy Spirit as we surrender our will.
Wisdom isn’t just having a knowledge of truth, it is applying it…living it. It is moving forward in FAITH to act on that truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through Solomon, we learned that in order for God to bless us with wisdom, we must have a righteous motivation.
Solomon desired wisdom because he had the motivation to better love and serve God’s people. This is the heart of our Lord! (See 1 Kings 3) God was pleased with Solomon’s heart and blessed him with more wisdom than anyone on the earth!
Chokmah is the Hebrew word for Wisdom.
Wisdom (from the verb chakam – to be wise) is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the ability to see something from God’s viewpoint. Wisdom is “God’s character in the many practical affairs of life.” -from Precept Austin
Below is the Doodle 101
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF
May we each approach God’s Word with fear and reverence, motivated by love for our Lord and for others.
A special welcome if you are new here! It’s an honor and a privilege to connect with so many Sisters in Christ ❤
Today, I’m beginning with a bit of a confession…
Lately, I have been “focusing” on improving my watercolor techniques. I am a self taught doodler, with no formal art training. (Other than freshman high school art! Thank you Ms. Marsh!) I have so much to learn!
Yesterday, after spending several hours working with watercolor, (twice the time I spent with God) a twitter post from Lysa TerKeurst came across my iPad screen.
“A good heart check for today: Whatever is holding our attention the most is what we’re truly worshipping.” -Lysa Terkeurst
OUCH! The Holy Spirit grabbed my attention in that moment, and caused me to evaluate my time management, which was quite telling of my focus & my heart.
So, I quit what I was working on, and got back to the business of prayer and study.
Later last night, I went to find that quote. It was still “on my heart” and I wanted to create a visual to remember it!
I have a twitter account, but I don’t really use it. I am so technically challenged, that I don’t even know why her tweet came across my screen?!!! 😂
ANYWAY, I was searching google for her twitter feed from yesterday, and the quote below came up from a few years ago…
”Wherever we focus our attention the most, will become the driving force in our lives.” -Lysa TerKeurst
Well, that was right on point too! God, are you trying to tell me something?!
I think so.
I LOVE creating. I could sit and draw, paint, doodle…all day long. That is a misuse of the precious time the Lord has given me to share of His glory and fulfill the purpose He has made me for….I need to listen to the Holy Spirit regarding balance in my life.
I finished this visual today and thought I would share it with all of you!
The end of chapter 51 describes Jerusalem and its people. Isaiah’s speaks of a period about two centuries after his own life. It is 65 years since Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city. The present inhabitants have only known rule by foreigners.
God will rescue Jerusalem (Chapter 52)
The Lord’s people come home from Babylon (Chapter 52)
The Lord’s Servant will suffer, but He will have victory (53)
The number of God’s people will increase vastly (54)
The Lord’s invitation:
“Come, all you who are desperate to drink. Here is water! Come, even if you have no money. Buy grain! You need no money. Eat all that you want. Come, buy wine and milk. It is all free” (55)
The Lord declares, ‘My plans are not your plans. Neither are your ways my ways. v9 As the sky is so much higher than the earth, so my ways are much higher than your ways. My plans are so much higher than your plans. v10 Rain and snow come down from the sky. But they do not go back again before they have watered the ground. That helps the ground to grow corn. And so the ground provides seed for people to sow and bread for them to eat. v11 So it is with the word that I speak. My word will not return to me without any result. My word will perform my plan. It will carry out my purpose.’ (55)
God’s people will include all nations (56)
God’s loyal people may suffer
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (57:1,20
Wrong practice of religion/Right practice of religion, Holy Days (58)
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (59:1,2)
God’s Servant brings good news. (61)
The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. (65:1) NIV
Below is a video from the read scripture app. (these videos are so well done and bring scripture to life!)
Aren’t these videos awesome!
It is heartbreaking and convicting to understand that God’s righteous judgement was so slow in coming. Each time, He warns, each time He pleads with His people…
”I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found but no one was looking for me!”
Isaiah continues to relay God’s message of judgement, but it’s always tempered with HOPE!
(Without Righteous judgement there is no justice!)
The Hope was coming in the form of a Servant King. God’s plan to redeem His stubborn, prideful people.
The video above touched me so much.
The visual of this truth in “doodle form” came from what was captured in this clip.
Jesus sets aside His deity (coming down from the mountain / beside His Father) to bring an urgent message of GOOD NEWS. (Euangelion/ Greek for Good news!)
He steps into human flesh with the knowledge of his eventual betrayal, torture & death because He would rather DIE than be WITHOUT US.
Click on the images for the pdf files:)
Use the image below to trace in your Bible!
* I choose not to cover up text (God’s Word) when I journal. Occasionally it happens by accident, and when it does I re-write the text that was covered. (This happened with the word beautiful, above. Definitely not intentional!)
Hosea, brings this message good news to “life” through his own personal story. God allows us to see the struggle we have with sin, through Gomer. We can easily relate to the huge challenge Hosea faced.
Forgive the “unforgivable” the underserving… even when they turn away from you in betrayal.
This is a picture of God and His people! He gives us undeserved forgiveness. (Grace)
He doesn’t stop there!
He washes our dirty rags (sin) with the blood of the lamb. (Jesus) When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Father sees us clean! Righteous…Holy.
I had a conversation with my daughter about the challenge we have in reading and understanding the Old Testement. She reminded me of something Jennie Allen said:
”The Old Testement is written to show us we can’t do it ourselves!”
I’m so thankful that I am digging into the whole council of God. We need to know the WHOLE story to understand the message…it is all about LOVE…it is all about Christ:)
May this be a blessing to you as you spend time with the Lord!
We open Kings to find that David has successfully reunited the 12 tribes, unifiying the Kingdom of Israel. Although David has a heart for God, like all people, he also has the problem of sin. It doesn’t take long for the rebellious heart of man to crumble and divide the kingdom once again.
David’s son Solomon (after the interference of Adonijah, another son of David) takes the throne upon his Father’s death. Solomon has a good start, with a heart that follows in David’s footsteps…desiring to love and serve God’s people. He asks for wisdom with honorable intentions, and God grants his request, beyond Solomon’s wildest dreams, blessing him with wisdom that exceeds all who are known.
Solomon prospers and makes preparations to build God’s temple, something David had longed to do. The temple is completed and the Ark of the Covenant is brought back and placed in the temple, and the “glory of the Lord” filled His house. Like his father David, Solomon had a weakness for women. God warns him, but Solomon follows his selfish desires accruing 700 wives! These ladies had a strong influence on Solomon, and he built altars “in high places” to their foreign gods. Not good Solomon.
Rebellion continued through the line of David with Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. The divided Kingdom (Judah in the south, Israel in the north) continued to war….enter Elijah (God’s prophet), who confronts the northern King Ahab. Like Solomon, Ahab is influenced by women…namely his wife Jezebel who worships Baal. Jezebel wears the pants in this family, and stirs up the pot of evil in the land. Elijah speaks truth, and Jezebel is out to “get him.” Eventually, in Chapter 19) we see Elijah flee in fear.
As Elijah gives in to doubt and fear, he ends up hiding in a cave. God mercifully speaks to him through the whisper of the wind. God is sovereign. God is powerful. God is righteous. God is merciful. God is love.
So….that’s a VERY brief summary of the week’s study:)
Are you following along? If you are, I’d love to hear from you! What has the Lord revealed to your heart?
I created the page below to put the Kings & Kingdoms in “order.” Hope it’s a help to you!
Click on the image for the pdf.
Below are two class projects. One from the reading/study material this week, and the next a preview into our reading/study for the week to come.
Like Elijah, if we are QUIET and lean in to hear the Lord speak, we will recognize His voice. He is faithful to meet us in our obedience with His presence and provision.
Products used for th project above: watercolor background, micron pen, uniball signo pen, tombow grey for letter shading.
A peek below into next week, as we read about Elijah passing the “baton” to Elisha…the prophet who will ask for a Double portion of Elijah’s Spirit:)
Products used in the project above: watercolor background and images, micron pens, Tombow grey brush pen for shading.
“How much of God am I transferring to the next generation?”
Below is an AWESOME teaching by Dr. Tony Evans (Priscilla Shirer’s Daddy!) on the passage above.
As I continue to work through Jennie Allen’s Bible Study PROVEN, it’s hard to believe we are already in week 5…it’s going so fast! I cannot encourage you enough on the importance of intentionally gathering together with other Sisters in Christ to study God’s Word together. We all desperately need this level of connection that provides encouragement and accountability or we will surely “fall away!”
Session 5 / ”RISK: The End of Passivity”
I typically spend time in prayer and in a specific study each morning …then I often listen to podcasts as I work on art projects or chores around the house.
You may have “heard” me mention that I have recently gone back to my “roots” after having loaded Dr. Tony Evans’ podcast app on my iPhone and iPad.
As the Lord often does, He leads me to a deeper understanding through the confirmation of His Word in many forms.
Today, after studying about “risk” in my Bible Study homework, I then landed on a podcast from Dr. Tony Evans that dug into this theme even deeper. From the title of the podcast, I wouldn’t have connected it…but God provided more, as I stepped forward to seek more:)
Our perception of risk is skewed by our human perspective. If we enlist God’s direction and His power in our steps, there is no risk to what God has promised us.
The story Tony tells comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 30.
David and his men return home to find that the enemy has entered in and stolen their women and children, and burned down their city.
”David was greatly distressed, because the people began to speak of stoning him…they were all suffering greatly”
1 Sam 30:6 And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?”
David ASKED God for direction, for why waste his time pursuing something apart from the Lord’s will…it will always end badly:(
God gave David direction:
He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”
Dr. Evans explains that the Lord didn’t give David all the details he needed to accomplish the task, but as he MOVED forward with the information he WAS given, God provided all.
Our Father unfolds more information as we MOVE in the direction He calls us to go. If we do not take the first step, He will not show us more.
This is the risk that we perceive with our human reasoning that stops us from obeying. If I go, will God provide?
It is through obedience that God provides what we need. Stepping out in faith…trusting Him…we will reach the other side with the assurance that the risk was worth the cost.
If you read on in 1 Samuel chapter 30, you will find that God honored David’s obedience with MORE than what he was after…abundance beyond his own desires. This is the way our GOOD Father responds to our faith…
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
I love the quote from John Piper below:
I want to live in a place where I believe there is NO RISK…when I venture out with and eternal, loving and steadfast God and join in the “thousand risks of love.”
What is holding you (& me) back?
Paul encourages us below:
22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
May we finish the race…the purpose of our calling, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God!
I am coming to you from the pages of PROVEN a study by Jennie Allen. Much of my posting over the next 7 weeks will be linked to this Bible Study, so grab a book and join me!
At my church we have an annual fall study that begins in September. This year, we have about 130 women participating in Jennie’s study PROVEN.
During the first week, we were asked to reached in and prayerfully asked ourselves & God…why do I keep trying to fill my broken cistern with water??? (Jeremiah 2:13)
“Christian, inside of you flow streams of LIVING WATER. Why would we ever go back to storing water in broken man-made places?” -Jennie Allen
“We were built to crave pleasure, joy, happiness…God built us for it, and when we don’t find it in Him and come to the end of ourselves we look for something to numb our reality.”
“As a culture, our God-given craving for fulfillment has driven us past God Himself.” -Jennie Allen
Our issue isn’t that we can’t find the things we crave within our God, our issue is, that we often haven’t truly “connected” to the source.
We live in a world where we think we are TOTALLY connected…social media, FaceTime, cell phones, texting, internet…even seemingly “good connections” with other believers through blogs like this are not a substitute for the CONNECTION we must have with our God face to face.
This week in the chapter entitled CONNECTED, Jennie prompts us to prayerfully meditate on Psalm 84.
I’ve always loved the song BETTER IS ONE DAY by Matt Redman taken from Psalm 84.
Everything we could ever want or hope for is found as we DWELL in the presence of God.
Psalm 84 (ESV)
My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord
84 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.[b]
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!
To DWELL…to STAY CONNECTED. Taking each step with the Lord…not solo.
Below is the “doodle” that came to me as I meditated on these Words of GOD.
Our meeting place isn’t limited to a church building, it’s right inside our own front door…and beyond those walls…
Psalm 139: 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
We cannot hide from our Father.
Let’s meet with our God…every moment.
There we are strengthened, blessed, favored, honored, & shielded…our heart sing with joy because NOTHING is withheld.