Ecclesiastes / Read the Bible in a Year with the READ SCRIPTURE APP

Good Day!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

For a few days, we are in the book of Ecclesiastes.

If you’ve just joined me, I am participating in my home Church’s journey to read the Bible in one year using the READ SCRIPTURE APP. 

Below is the opening video for the book of Ecclesiastes.

THE PURPOSE: Is life really worth living? Can I possibly find peace and purpose in this life? The author of Ecclesiastes attempts to answer these questions by proving that satisfaction in life can only be found by looking beyond this world. Ecclesiastes gives an analysis of negative themes but it also develops the positive theme of overcoming the vanities (hevel / meaningless / fleeting nature)of life by fearing a God who is good, just, and sovereign (12:13-14).

THE THEME: The fear of God leads to a meaningful life.

(This summary structure was adapted and revised from Bruce Wilkinson & Kenneth Boa, The Wilkinson & Boa Handbook @ bible.org)

All that we seek of the world will pass away like a vapor ———> “HEVEL, HEVEL, HEVEL”

But, our God is everlasting.

”Full of Splendor & Majesty is His work. His righteousness endures forever” (Psalm 111:3) His glory is seen everywhere!

Each day is a gift. Each gift has purpose. In our quest for meaning it is our human desire to be known by the world which leads us away from the gift of our God given purpose. It is knowing the Lord that fulfills our hearts and will keep us “occupied with joy!” I love that phrase!

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment  in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

It is right to enjoy what God has placed before us…each breath is a gift.

 

 

 

May we each be occupied with joy as we count each day as a blessing, whatever our lot, experiencing the presence of God in each moment as we seek Him with our whole heart. Lord help us…hear our prayer ❤

This clip from Bart Millard is so encouraging and inspiring. I had to share it with you today:)

 

Be encouraged!

God Bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking Truth in Love ❤️

Hello!

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.

I love the example Jason Weimer from CRU shares about this topic

What Makes Talking With You Taste Good?

Consider salt. Yes, salt.

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.

Here is my new drawing for Wisdom:)

 

 

AS ALWAYS, CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE,

Proverbs / Read the Bible in a Year with the Read Scripture App

Hello out there!

Thank you for taking the time to “stop by!”

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 ❤

If you haven’t yet, check the APP out here.

Currently, we are reading in Proverbs.

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

Faith ———>knowledge————->action

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.

Amen,

 

 

 

 

Focus

Happy Tuesday!

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.

Anyway….

I finished this visual today and thought I would share it with all of you!

Hope becomes a visual reminder for you as well…

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF

Bless you & your time with the Lord,

 

To the least of these…

Hello!

I’m writing from my bed today…after caring for several sickies, I have now fallen to the same end, & on my lap sits my iPad Pro. How amazing it is to be afforded the luxury of laying here with this miraculous piece of technology underneath my fingertips.  I am constantly in awe and wonder over it’s capabilities!

Below you will find my latest doodle 101 of a few cute woodland animals. Their evolution began yesterday, when I started working on a simple little sketch from a live “model” on my back patio…a mama dove on her nest with 2 babies.

2 years ago today, my Mom left this world to be with Jesus. When I returned home from the hospital, I found a dove nesting on my back porch for the first time.

(This is the original post I wrote the week I found that dove)

2 years ago, I experienced God’s presence with me, as I watched this dove make her home in my backyard.

A symbol of hope…a promise of new life…& eternal life.

She has come back this year, caring for her babies, as the circle of life continues. She reminds me that the Lord is faithful and good. She reminds me that He cares for us in such personal ways…often mysterious, often misunderstood. I am again reminded that this earth is not my home, but while I am here, God He has called me to follow His lead…

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” -Matthew 6:26

…to love without measure…to care for those I sometimes feel are unlovable… to serve the lost, the widow, the orphans, the poor…the sparrows.

Matthew 25:40

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

 

 

 

 

I hope to get back to my sketch book soon, to finish journaling about the Dove’s return.

Until then, happy doodling!

Bless you,

 

Just some doodles:)

Hi again!

I have a sweet online friend/artist, that asked if I could make these doodles available for use in a Bible.

Deirdre…here you go! ( I added a few more to fill up the page!) ❤

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF. Feel free to trace in your Bibles! If you post your beautiful work, please share my blog or Instagram account 😘 Thank you!

-sue

 

The Power of the Tongue/ Dynamite in your Dentures- by Tony Evans

Hello!

I have been listening to Dr. Tony Evans latest podcast series entitled “Watch Your Mouth”  If you’ve never heard Tony Evans preach, you’re in for a treat. I have mentioned him here before…he happens to be Priscilla Shirer’s Daddy:) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

You can download his podcast app for free here.

These lessons are about our mouth.

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing” We have the power to heal or destroy…to build up, or tear down.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” -Proverbs 18:21

God simply spoke and the earth was created. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…The Word was God.

Words are important to God. They need to be valued and used with great care, always tempered by the Holy Spirit.

Many of us have experienced the explosive dynamite that can come from someone’s mouth. Words that have caused us harm; words that have changed the way we see ourselves, others, and even God.

“How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,these things ought not to be so.” James 3:5-10

”No human being can tame the tongue.” As it says above, man can tame many beasts, but not the tongue. When it is unleashed it has the power to “stain the whole body!” I am sure many of us have experienced this kind of damaging fire that was started by one “small” match.

We are careless with our words, and often take the responsibility of speech lightly. We throw out words so recklessly, without giving thought to the effect they have…the fires they start.

As we allow God to tame our tongues, we can choose to bring life to others.

I cannot do Tony’s teaching justice, so I encourage you to listen to his messages on “the Mouth.”

Below is a doodle that was sparked by this powerful message! (Dynamite in your dentures)

 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE PDF

Tony uses the cow as an illustration in one of the other messages in this series…”he” (the cow) kept coming to my mind:)

Lord, help us practice the surrender required to give YOU the “reins” to tame our tongue…

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29

Equip us with self-control… to stop, and invite the Holy Spirit to direct our mouths.

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Different Kind of Selfie

 

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life.” (2 Peter 1:3) BUT, do we seek to fill our needs with the Lord’s provision or with the “world’s.”

It is hard to admit our deep tendency to seek our worth in the opinions of others rather than our Creator God. It is a practice repeated over and over throughout history.  Isn’t this at the root of the “selfie stick?

Before the selfie stick, there were golden statues:)

There are so many daily habits rooted in self focus…many start out innocently enough, but become the things that rule our mind and our hearts. Inviting the Holy Spirit to guide us in “self examination will help keep us from being ineffective and unproductive.”  -Oswald Chambers

Click here for Full devotional from Oswald Chambers

2 Peter sheds light on this process:

2 Peter 1:3-21

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Making every effort to add faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, & love, does not come naturally within our human nature. WE MUST PRACTICE setting our selfie stick down (surrendering our will to the Lord’s) and then invite the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and change our hearts. It is a moment by moment surrender.

If it helps, keep a log of your practice. If we are more aware of our actions, we can be more intentional in our surrender which will increase our faith as we experience God’s provision in our life! It will become habit forming❤

We will see fruit. We will attain the very things we crave and can never gain with a selfie stick.

Click on the image below for a journal page to “track” your habits:)

 

Print off  the above chart and use it to track and increase your daily (godly) habits. The numbers represent each day of the month. Check the boxes you have accomplished. When we have a little accountability, even with ourselves, it helps us maintain our focus:)

Click on the image below for a pdf of the doodle 101.


 

 

Much love,