His call is our call

Romans 8
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,[c
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
    repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
    though they have been deserted for many generations.
Foreigners will be your servants.
    They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
    and tend your vineyards.
You will be called priests of the Lord,
    ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
    and boast in their riches.
Instead of shame and dishonor,
    you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice.
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be recognized
    and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
    the Lord has blessed.”

10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.

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get ready

Atmosphere of Peace – oil and cold wax 16x16x2 panel

This week will be putting together art, words, ideas and preparing for the installation that is coming quickly. Already issues are trying to make things difficult, but flexibility and knowing God’s always there helps to keep the focus on what needs to come. Prayer and time with the Lord helps to keep the mind on what is true, noble, right, pure … what is excellent or praiseworthy! (Philippians 4:8)

I love how His word sustains, encourages and guides.

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ” John 14:23-27

Thank you Lord that your Word continues to speak. I pray that Your peace would be with each person reading and be felt in a deeper way this week. Help our hearts and minds stay focused on Your truths! All things are possible!

lead by example

Lines – Encaustic on 6×6 panel (oil and hot wax)

Whether we want to admit it our not, we are all leading others. We are examples of something. It might peace, greed, joy or complaining.

Take some time to see those you are leading and what you are really sharing with them. This is a culture that is filled with extreme diversity in personalities, beliefs and leadership styles. It might also be a time to look at who you are following….

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

seeing possibilities

Enith in Haiti 2007

In 2000 I took my first mission trip to Mexico. Since I was not an evangelist or doctor, I didn’t feel I had much to give in missions. This trip was a perfect starting point since it was a work crew to help paint, fix and refresh a school.

As a youth, that never seemed like anything that would be in my future. After that trip, I felt a tug on my heart to do something more in missions.

A trip planned and passport in hand in 2004 and I cancelled. I had heard the Lord saying the missions were coming to me. Exchange students from Vietnam, Colombia, Mexico and Spain came into my home. Not full school years but this kept me local for another 2 years.

Why am I sharing on this?

God’s ways are different than ours. He sees possibilities all around us and knows how to prepare us for where we are going next and to use us where we are now.

The kids certainly helped me to understand other cultures in ways that my Perspectives training did not. I had taken steps toward learning but having them in your home is an even more in depth training.

On the last night of my Perspectives class in 2006, I read an email connecting me to a woman who was looking for others to teach business skills to artisans in Haiti. I was giving a 6 week leave of absence from my job and traveled early 2007 for my first trip. I continued to work with the organization until 2014 and never was there longer than my first 6 week stay. Internet is very helpful for that now!

So much of this seemed impossible from my earthly mindset. BUT…. with God all things are possible. He does want us to have an abundant life. Our definition and His might be a little different.

Take some time this week to ask God to show you a picture or give you some words of what an abundant life for you looks like. Maybe even write out what you think it would be and if you see impossible written on that, as Him how he sees it. God loves to share His heart with us. Keep asking, seeking, knocking. You will learn His voice. He is always speaking, we just need to learn how He speaks to us.

My prayer today is the once Paul shared to the Ephesians –

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21

crossing the line

The Disciple – oil/cwm 16×20

In the midst of a busy season also brings what will be my biggest exhibition so far. Others may not realize it, but it’s intimidating and exhilarating at the same time.

Usually at the gallery I have 8-15 paintings. This will be close to 25 and include writings. I was also asked to speak which doesn’t seem as threatening as showing these more personal creations.

As I was asking the Lord what I might need to share in writing, a very strong message came.

“We all have a chicken line to cross.”

I laughed! God definitely has a sense of humor! I thought of this painting right away. The GOLD is waiting if we dare to take a step!

Ask the Lord today what line you need to cross.
It might be to see yourself as one who is already equipped and prepared.
It might be to know that God really does have good plans for your life.
Maybe it’s something that seems difficult like a phone call to an organization or company.
I pray that the kingdom courage you already have will rise up to meet you as you dare to step forward!

It’s not always a matter of success or great revelations, but often a matter of obedience to go where you are sensing God needs you to be. Momentum only comes from allowing movement. He can’t move with us unless we’re stepping out!

Some of my chicken lines this year.
Becoming a chaplain and not knowing where He wants that used.
Stepping down from leading our gallery management team.
Reseeding my lawn and hoisting 40 lb bags of dirt.
(At my age – wood chips are easier.)

dream a little

Still In Process – Oil and cold wax medium
18x24x2 (that means it’s not finished)

I think I’m supposed to stay on this topic a bit and ask a few questions. Hopefully you will take some time to ponder. Most people understand the Bucket List idea and things they want to do before they leave this earth. Often those are things for personal gratification (not saying that’s bad – I have a spa day on my list!), but there’s also a lot of people young and older that are wondering….

What is my life purpose?
What will I do with kids grown?
How can I change my career?
Can I make a difference?

I strongly feel God designed each of us with great purpose. Things that would touch our hearts and also bless others. I’ve read many great books on the topic but here I’m sharing the dreaming with God process. God had me write and lead a couple classes on this years ago so it’s interesting He’s having me revisit it here.

At the beginning of my journey with Christ – I did not understand about hearing Gods voice. But now that I do, I definitely see things much differently. One of the very potent words He shared with me:

“Your heart has a passion that has been neglected.
Let it come again. Let it be breathed with life again.”

One of my passions while I was young was to create art. The responsible and better paying way of life was business college and doing accounting things. Later in life that led to a bachelors in business management and ministry leadership. Neither of those were in my young dreams but God brought NEW dreams to life along the way. REMEMBER: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

The dreams of art were buried in a deep closet. Forgotten in the logical fog of numbers and spreadsheets. UNTIL – I had finished college and missed taking classes. Several things led me to an art class. You might say and the rest is history but it was only the beginning!

Today I pray that you will take some time to dig in your closet for that passion that never had a chance before. That you would see what step you could take to let it be breathed back to life. That God would give you the courage and the opportunity to dust it off and try it on again. Pro sports might not be good at age 60 but I’m sure He can show you more! Have a beautiful day!

dream flight

Time to Fly – Encaustic (oil paint and hot wax) 12×12 panel

Around my yard are a few birdhouses. Not all see occupants but it’s a treasure to watch birds maneuver their twigs and sing their songs of communication to the world. It’s not very long before the bird songs disappear as the young ones are pushed to try their wings.

This particular house is made with a back door so the nest can be removed (not all birds like to reuse). As I opened I saw eggs and closed again, leaving them a few weeks and watching for more activity. No birds returned. I decided to use them in a painting with pieces of the nest and young feathers left behind. A tribute to those who didn’t get to fly and wonder to the adventures of the others.

We were all created to soar. Maybe not with wings flapping but the instincts given by our Creator are for doing more than we imagined. His plan is always to bring us where we need to be.

A sweet message to me that as I follow His leading, understand the ways He has designed me and listen to where He leads – I too will be where I’m needed to be. Jonah didn’t want to follow what he heard. He tried to avoid God and where he was supposed to be. We can ignore, but its so much better to go!

Within your heart you can make plans for your future,
but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there. Proverbs 16:9 TPT

I pray today you will know His leading and listen for that sweet song that reveals His ways. They are higher and better and might not look as you expect! I never thought I would be creating art, traveling to other countries or be a part of managing a gallery. BUT GOD…. had bigger dreams than I dared to live! May you dare to dream bigger and soar to new heights too! We press on….

holy holy holy

Out of the Darkness – oil and cold wax medium 12×12 panel

You may have grown up in church and felt very comfortable with the word HOLY. I did not. I felt like the most unworthy, dirtiest girl who was beyond even speaking those words.

I had been in churches, prayed that sinners prayer, sprinkle baptized and more but still did not “feel” clean, worthy or free. It wasn’t for lack of effort. Years later with journal and bible study everyday and still this sense of guilt, shame, and more.

I learned a valuable lesson – there is an enemy that wants me to stay in the mud as a friend would put it years later. BUT…. I made a decision that I wanted to find the closeness with Jesus that David talked about in the Psalms. I wanted to understand how Saul/Paul could have such a turn around in his life to write such inspiring words in the New Testament. Deep was calling out to deep in me.

You might be surprised at how it happens…. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Matthew 7

Philippians came to mind – Chapter 3 TPT
12 I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. 13 I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. 14 I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. 15 So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires, God will reveal it to them. 16 And let us all advance together to reach this victory-prize, following one path with one passion.

I pray you ask God to show you how much He really cares. That you will seek to understand His heart for you and keep knocking. Knocking down the walls that you feel have you separated, keep knocking off the lies that say you are unworthy and keep knocking on the doors of heaven to see from that seat that is right there with Jesus at God’s right hand. He has so much more to share with us now!

God wants you to know that you have been made Holy!
Not just that He is holy but that you are holy!

another viewpoint

Through the Fog, oil and cold wax on 12×12 panel SOLD

Do you ever get a glimpse of something and you’re not sure what it is?

Maybe my newer abstracts are that “something” to you. 🙂
It has been very interesting to hear what others are seeing. A friend was over and was at first turning her head sideways to look at a painting. I gave it to her and she began turning in different directions and sharing some new stories. It was beautiful the way it spoke to her. Reminding me of days as a child looking into the clouds with friends and waiting expectantly for new things to be revealed.

It’s often how it is in the spiritual world too. We can read a passage over and over and then sharing with another, they see something we did not. A reason I love having conversations about God’s Word.

In three different places, I am in the book of Ephesians. A devotional, recent church messages and a study group. It’s sharing even more life! We’ve been digging out the promises of God. Seeing how He views His creation and encourages His children. Recognizing God’s heart in the prayers that are still very alive.

I think that’s why I’m also enjoy the The Passion Translation and The Message as I study. It removes some of the lenses I have used and reveals hidden things before not seen.

The Passion Translation (TPT) Ephesians 4 – Our Divine Calling
As a prisoner of the Lord, I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling.
With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.

For the Lord God is one, and so are we, for we share in one faith, one baptism, and one Father. And He is the perfect Father who leads us all, works through us all, and lives in us all!

I pray this week you will take some time with a familiar passage and ask the Holy Spirit to share some new insight. Maybe discuss with another over coffee or tea.

Thank you Lord we are not left to our own devices, that you have richly blessed us and continue to guide us in all truth. Let us not get so focused on our own understanding that we neglect to seek and ask for Your wisdom.

new things

New Song – oil and cold wax medium on 2x18x24 panel

I was repeatedly having the words NEW SONG coming in journals, sketches and stray paintings. I decided it was time to do something bigger with it and explore more what God had to say…

A dear friend would regularly say to many, “God is doing a new thing, do you not perceive it?”

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

God loves to create! He loves to change the things that look barren, desolate and empty. He loves to breath life to bones and yet we often keep Him in a box and say things are impossible. WHY?

If we were reading in His Word – we would see all through old and new, He was taking impossibilities and making something from them! He was using people that were not the norm to become a new norm. He took the simplicity of water and turned it into the most amazing wine. He died in a very unjust way to bring justice and freedom to all.

We have gotten so used to the world’s system instead of the heavenly promises. Did you know there ARE over 7,700 promises from God? And His words do not fall to the ground! Will you dare to believe these are for you and for today! His Word is eternal – it wasn’t just back then – it is for now!

9“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:9-13

I pray that today you would find a promise of God’s that would speak richly to your spirit and reveal to you the wonders of His ways. That you would see with new eyes and begin singing your new song!

(Its also a good day to start a negativity fast. If negative thoughts or words start coming your way or out of your mouth, ask God to show you a word of truth or promise that will help you renew your mind! He wants to give us the best – not the worst. Will you receive it?)