ponderings

retreat times

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

I actually did that a bit on Sunday but a little more is needed. I have been studying for business coaching certification so it has been a bit intense the last few months. Thankfully my work is handed in and now for final interviews and moving forward!

I will be taking a “rest” for a bit from blogging for a time. God has been giving me fresh ideas and new purpose to share and I need some time to put together. AND some creative time for more paintings!!! It has been too long since I’ve been regularly creative and it is one of my favorite resting and refilling things.

Rest and retreat can look so differently but my main goal is coming closer to God and being refreshed by Him. I pray that you enjoy some retreat time too!

Blessings to all!!

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:16-18 NIV

ponderings

life and light

As the snow covers our area and activity around the neighborhood is less, I look down the road and some homes have little light showing and others that seem to beam. Making me think that we are to let our light shine!

Out of Darkness – coil and coldwax with gold leaf

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16 MSG

Lord thank you that we are reflections of You here on this earth, showing the richness and beauty that You bring. Give us boldness to share Your light, truth and love. Let us beam brightly for You as we engage with others. Give us Your heart and passion towards those in need and those who feel they have plenty. We know that You came for ALL and want ALL to know Your generosity. Let us also be generous and freely give as we have freely received.

ponderings

ever increasing glory

As I was reading today – this verse on GLORY stood out. Then others verses started coming to mind. I looked those up. Next I was trying to find more details in Matthew Henry’s Commentary and also looking at the MSG vs NIV. I don’t usually share when I end up in these multiple directions but a few points that I will be meditating on as I break down this verse…

WE ALL
WITH UNVEILED FACES
CONTEMPLATE THE LORD’S GLORY
BEING TRANSFORMED INTO HIS IMAGE
WITH EVER INCREASING GLORY – WHICH COMES FROM THE LORD,

WHO IS THE SPIRIT
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

Sometimes looking at a verse in little pieces brings more depth and help as we ask God :

What does it mean for me to have an unveiled face?
What does it look like to contemplate Your glory?
How am I being transformed in Your image?
What does that transformation look like?
I have your glory? How so? How does that increase and keep on increasing?
How do you Lord or you Spirit bring that?
What else do you want to show me here Lord?

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” 
John 17:1

Holy Spirit – guide us in hearing heaven’s perspective. Give us wisdom, understanding and revelation on how Your Word impacts our being, our lives, and those around us. And as Jesus shared – let the glory that we do carry and we are increasing in glorify YOU!

ponderings

dare to begin

Last summer in one of my midnight hour messages from God – I heard to start a youtube channel on Encouraging Conversations. He shared the layout, some topics and where it might lead. I had no idea how to work with most of these steps or what this would entail, but I learned and found some to start with me.

Subscribe if you like and let me know what you think! There is also a facebook page if interested.

Thank you Ann and Mandy for sharing your voices and thoughts.

ponderings

still at work

I Fight for You – oil and cold wax on canvas

Be in awe before his majesty.
Be in awe before such power and might.
Come worship wonderful Yahweh, arrayed in all his splendor,
bowing in worship as he appears in the beauty of holiness.
Give him the honor due his name.
Worship him wearing the glory-garments of your holy, priestly calling!
Psalm 29:2 TPT

The more I dig into the word, the more I am in awe. So often the story of God is just a good story from long and He’s out there but so impersonal. That isn’t how He wants it.

It is in times of worship – and I’m not just talking reading some words to a song – surrendering the thoughts of myself, the world, and circumstances – that is when I find a depth of God that fills (He’s not predictable and boring!)

Lord, thank you that You are ALIVE, VIBRANT, HOLY, AND GLORIOUS! Open our hearts to see and know you more. Let us experience in deeper ways the beauty and wonders You have for us. We honor You Lord! Let us see, hear, and know the greatness of your Love. It is better than life!!!

ponderings

good medicine

Have you ever been around others that have tragedy and despair all around them but yet – they have joy…. what is up with that? How can that really be? Is joy really happiness and laughter? Can you be in joy even with tears? Is laughter really good medicine?

I have said before – I find one answer and it brings 20 more questions. I have been having several opportunities to remember my times in Haiti and one of the things I share regularly is that even in the 2nd poorest country in the world – they are joyful! I have noticed in many places that joy and laughter in the midst disaster really helps.

Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Joy isn’t conditional with God – it is necessary.

I had a nice compliment recently when someone said, “You are so easy going.” I had to admit I was not always that way. I learned the hard way I had to get over myself. Hanging on to God instead of the troubles that surround us is where we can find joy in the midst of trials. It brings a strong “knowing” that ALL things truly do work for good AND the world does not end with our situation.

Lord help us to take things more lightly and dare to laugh and find joy in the midst of dark areas of life. Let us continue to shine brightly no matter the situations we face. This earthly life is fleeting compared to eternity with you. For those in dire places, bring peace, those who need healing, show them Your goodness and let JOY flow in all we pray!

ponderings

the power of momentum

I won’t address the physic of momentum but if you have mass and some movement – you have momentum! When the movement increase the mass speeds up! It brings to mind a pictures of a sledding excursion, a bike coasting down a hill, or a ball rolling down the driveway.

We have a God that created the laws of physics, speed, acceleration, and even resting in the process of it all. He knows our hearts, our steps, our words, and our weaknesses and He is there with us through it all. Through fun outings, dark seasons, and hopeful moments.

Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face?
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
your strength will empower me.
Psalm 139:1-10
TPT

God – thank you that no matter where we are emotionally, physically, or spiritually – You are always there! We may try to move away, but You stay near. We may try to hide, but You do not. You are our strength and always wanting the best for us. Open our understanding, increase our awareness, and help us to gain even more momentum with You.

ponderings

no condemnation

How often in the day are you beating yourself up? Maybe thoughts that you didn’t do enough here, you should have done that there, or you must be unlovable because….

Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not here to condemn the world….not yet anyway, they are actually trying to love the “hell” out of the world. I was surprised when I heard that phrase years ago.

Jesus wasn’t about pointing out everyone’s sins, He was about telling everyone there was opportunity for LIFE – full and abundant life – with Him.

When I read this story in John, it reminds me I am not the judge and jury of others. ALSO that even when I know my life is not 100% pure, I am not condemned by Him.

The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”

“No one, Master.”

“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
John 8:3-11

THANK YOU JESUS! Thank you for helping us see ourselves more clearly through Your eyes of love and acceptance. Thank you there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus as we walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh. Let our confidence be found not in what we do or don’t do, but in what You already accomplished on the cross. We are redeemed and made new. We are protected and loved – even in our imperfection. Help us as we grow, learn and understand our value as Your children and friends. Help us take all thoughts captive to Your truth and honor You with our lives!

ponderings

you have what you need

Can I say I love biblegateway.com? I do not always know where all verses are. I have words come and need to search. Online I can easily look at other versions and it helps me understand and digest the Word more fully. On my work computer, the daily verse is in NIV and on home computer in MSG. My phone shows a totally different verse. I wonderful treat all through the day!

I felt very touched today with the MSG version shared from Ephesians 6 and went to read more.

And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no weekend war that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG

While the world is focusing on what is happening on the earth, God is looking deep at our hearts and the schemes of the enemy. I admit that for years I did not understand how much of a spiritual battle surrounds our daily lives. We are not battling flesh and blood… The WORD of God is sharper than any two edged sword… Put it to use… Let His peace be yours.

Lord thank you for the abundance of gifts and wisdom You freely give to those who call You their own. I pray for eyes to see and hearts to embrace the amazing instruction book that guides us into Your deepest truths. Thank you God for blessings us with all that we need for life and godliness.

ponderings

think again

We often want to think of God as just the lover and the encourager. He is that and more!

Layers of Prayers – oil and coldwax with prayers

He’s also straight to the point on what is not good. You might be like me that sometimes you don’t really want to dig into the confrontational areas as you read or study.

Lately I do not stray from them but process right away. I do want to be refined. I do want to be closer and closer to His heart for me, for others, and for this world. A section that really spoke to me today….

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?
James 4:1-12 MSG

Father, I repent for the ways and places I have wanted my own way and have focused on the things of the world more than on You. I don’t want to carry pride or belittle others so remove any of those thoughts or impulses. Help me to know the motives of my heart and adjust them right away to loving as You love. I want all that I do to glorify You Lord!