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.)

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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?)

childlike exploration

Back to the Beginning

As I created this piece I had started using more gold leaf and oil pastels. As I drew those crayon like circles around the three purple shapes it felt like I was being transported. Not to my childhood, but to a childlike place with the Lord. A place I could dare to test and try without criticism. A safe place that found His approval.

I scratched in the words, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Other words were written but are no longer seen. It seemed He was showing me the simplicity of the Father, Son and Spirit. How they are each distinct yet connected, intertwined, vibrating and still not fully definable.

One might just look at this and enjoy the colors, the movement, the simple lines of the circles but beneath is a bigger story yet to be discovered.

This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it – the Lord is his name:  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  Jeremiah 33:2-3

My creative process may have started with sharing the beauty of a landscape or capturing some realism of a photo, but it has expanded into exploring the unsearchable, seeing what’s possible and stretching beyond what seems reasonable.

I pray today that you will find a way to explore, see and stretch as God guides you. That you would embrace His picture of simplicity as a child and know His approval and grace! Blessings to you all.

from mess to rest

Rough Spots – oil and cold wax medium on 18×24 panel

We all have things going on in our lives that aren’t the best, that try our patience, that test our resolve, even making us doubt our sanity. I can just imagine how Saul (Paul) felt as he went after those who were called Christians to destroy them. Then finding himself blinded, healed and changed. That could certainly be called a rough spot. Yet he learned the place of rest.

Do you think he had some understanding of what we would go through in a world that seems to magnify even more the dysfunction and depravity that he was part of?

His writings are filled with such wisdom for someone who came far in the world without knowing Jesus and then went so much further after his surrender to the Lord. Especially considering he wasn’t one who walked with Jesus for those three years.

His writings share so much that there is hope, there is possibility, there is more to this life on earth – not just after death. We don’t find it in striving to understand through our earthly eyes but only in resting in the truth of His Word, His ways and who He says we are.

I pray today you will remember that there is nothing impossible for God. That even those who seem far away from Him can become the closest. I pray with you that those who don’t know God’s goodness, grace and joy will encounter Him today!

If you need help finding that resting spot, I suggest digging into the writings of Paul in Corinthians, Colossians or Romans or send me a message. He wants to give you His best!!!

time to reveal

shoreline treasures
Shoreline Treasures – oil/cwm 12×12

In many places in my journals I’ve written about buried treasures, how the tide shifts what seems lost at sea and as I pray into those areas more, I have felt the Lord share the most amazing stories.

Eph 1:3 jumped out boldly to me a few years ago.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Eph 1:3

Yes – He knew us BEFORE we were formed in our mother’s womb. He gave his life for us before we existed on this earth and He wanted us to become intimately acquainted with Him. His word says that he desires ALL to come to the knowledge of Him. Not just some chosen royal priesthood, but ALL. Then they ALL can become that royal priesthood.

Each one of us has been “gifted” with heavenly identities, “gifted” with spiritual blessings, “gifted” with open access to His throne of mercy and grace. We’ve let those “gifts” be buried at sea. Many have given up on ever seeing the fullness they felt would come to their lives.

Those gifts have not gone away, they have not slipped through your hands forever. They are still there waiting. God’s yes – is a constant. Yes and Amen (let it be so). He LOVES the impossible because He sees possibility all around. 

I pray you will ask God to bring those buried treasures back to the surface. That you would seek again the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. He is eager to bless you abundantly!  (John 10:10)

until

Sheltered web
Sheltered – oil and cold wax medium – Psalm 91 on silk embedded to the left

It’s been a great season for creating new art as I continue my exploration with oil and cold wax medium. So many stories come as I create. Often words, verses and lyrics are even written in the paintings with my wonderful bamboo skewer.

Winter seems a good time to start bringing some words.

Years ago I was encouraged by another artist with Psalm 91. As I continue to read it, more images come to mind.

Whether you are an artist or not, take some time as you read the Word to ask the Lord to share a picture of what those scriptures mean for your life in this season.

Psalm 91 inspired a painting several years ago and was shared here with favorites and shelter of the shadow but this one seemed to be more corporate instead of the intensity of that private time. I was seeing shadows of groups of people and in the original stages of the painting, they were more dominant (see below). Also at different places and positions. One seemed to be on their knees, one was face to the ground and felt like they were interceding and seeking the heart of the Father. Was my painting part of that intercession too? Often I know they are.

beginning stage of sheltered
in process

Some of the sweetest parts of a creation are in the beginning processes seldom seen by others. 

Similar to the life of Jesus who had so many years we didn’t know of his life – UNTIL…

Maybe you are feeling that place of unknown in purpose and connection right now. Let His Words bring peace and reassurance that as His beloved child – YOU ARE covered, YOU ARE needed, YOU ARE treasured and considered worthy. He always loves completely! He knows no other way!

I pray you “take refuge” and make the Most High your dwelling as you are being created more and more in His likeness. That you would put your trust in His process and protection – UNTIL His time is fully revealed.