adventure, comfort zone, expectations, faith, follow God, mystery, pleasing others, ponderings, relationships, trust

two roads diverged

New Discovery web
New Discovery

In a Bible study it was interesting how a couple of us were hearing different words to study but they were bringing us to the same lesson and understanding…one of the wonderful parts of “iron sharpening iron” when you can have good discussion of God’s Word and it’s impact in our hearts and our lives.

Many say all roads lead to God – in some sense they are right. All will stand before God but yet the only way to the glorious presence of the Father is through the Son.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken
adventure, anticipation, blessings, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, hope, inspiration, mystery, ponderings, prayer, seeing beyond, trust

wonder of words

IMG_0719Do you ever have stray words come to your mind? They don’t relate to anything in the moment but you know you must pay attention. They are like invitations to explore, to dream and imagine where they will lead.

How about EXPECTANCY?
Google definition:  the state of thinking or hoping that something, especially something pleasant, will happen or be the case.

Not in a normal days conversation but makes you think further than the moment. I will hold on to expectancy through the coming days. I think it will bring something pleasant.

You might want to ask for a word…

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
God has lost track of me.
    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40:27-31 The Message

adventure, comfort zone, day to day, expectations, God first, influence, living in the past, ponderings, prayer, renewal, seeing beyond, self help, trust, worship

conform or transform

One of my most impacting verses…

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

I’ve prayed in these verses for years and still love how they challenge me. I kind of liked my mind before and was learning to conform well. But oh what wonderful things happen when you give up what you are comfortable with or what seems good to get God’s much better perspective!

Renewing is a continual process – not a once and done thing. And transformed – means a dramatic change in form, appearance or character. When I first “came to Jesus” my life still looked pretty conformed to the rest of the world. Now is a different kind of messy that is definitely dramatically different!!

The first circle encaustic painting (wax w/oil pigment) was later melted and transformed.

What does this speak to you today?

To me it says – “Don’t settle for a pretty puddle when God wants to give you wings!”

adventure, comfort zone, encouragement, follow God, influence, inspiration, outreach, ponderings, rejection, seeing beyond, trust

under the surface

Let’s restart simple and fresh – more on what God’s been doing will come but here is a painting that I started during a healing service and felt many words from God as I worked on it at home. Let me know your thoughts….

under the surface web
Under the Surface – oil on canvas

It is actually hard to paint so many words and for people to read them but it felt right. For easier reading – here they are…

Long before the brush touches the canvas, the ideas and images are forming. Bringing them to life is not just a matter of skill but a matter of the heart and the soul. A journey into the unknown. A courageous step of faith to bring life to an empty canvas. Sharing an intimate look that leaves one vulnerable and exposed.  It must be done. The painting will come to life with one message but so many more are “under the surface” waiting to be discovered. We all have a story that needs to be shared with someone, somewhere. Now is the time to push aside the perceived limitations and rediscover the message you have not yet shared. You have all you need and what you have is what someone else is waiting for. Be brave. The canvas can’t be completed without you.

 

adventure, anticipation, attitude, blessings, expectations, faith, God is faithful, hope, living in fear, ponderings, praise, seeing beyond, trust

making moments

The Light Shines
The Light Shines
It’s definitely been another adventurous year!
I hope you found many moments to cherish in your Christmas and all of these days of 2015. Usually my last week of the year is set on reviewing journals and messages from God. This year I kept reviewing as I went. It has felt like a steamship that was in port has been let out to the sea…and my current work is being a deck hand so concentrating on what my daily tasks are and letting God steer.

Our Zeeland Artists gallery has been well received in it’s little downtown shop. I had fun creating some whimsical art pieces for family gifts this Christmas and also for our sermon series on The Light.

We all have areas that darkness tries to overwhelm but Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 to take heart, because HE HAS overcome the world!

I pray your coming year brings even more of the dreams God has for your life into being. We are never too old, too young, too weak, too…anything. Because it really is not about us – His Word is truth and with Christ ALL things are possible!

Think with possibility and be a blessing everywhere you go!

adventure, anticipation, change, God is faithful, outreach, rejection, relationships, seeing beyond, trust

the story continues

Dreaming Fields
Dreaming Fields
A church is talking about how art “adds to the beauty”, as my friend put it, and asked if I could share something to display. “Dreaming Fields” is one that they used. She asked me to share some of it’s story.

For it’s first exhibition I used the words “This piece will show the beauty that surrounds us all but the intensity that comes when we find our passion and focus on it.”

It’s story, like yours and mine, continues to unfold.

A family friend saw a photo of this and said she wanted to buy it. It reminded her of her days on the farm. The freedom of the fields and the joy of nature. When dementia required her to move with family and live in CA, they allowed me to reclaim the painting. Mom and I went to CA to celebrate her 80th birthday in January of 2015. She knew people well but didn’t remember much more. In March, she passed in her sleep.

beauty surrounds us
beauty surrounds us
While this was displayed with its SOLD sign, someone saw it online and gave me a call. They were making a movie and the lead actress was portraying an artist. They wanted to buy this painting for the movie. I explained it was already sold. They came to my home that Sunday, saw my other work and I agreed to paint a smaller one making the girl blond. Somewhere in the movie are also the words, “Beauty Surrounds Us.” A copy was made to travel to Africa where they filmed scenes about bringing clean water to those in need. I was even an extra in art festival scenes filmed in my city. That scene was cut and later redone in LA area near where Ann moved to.

Last week I received a facebook invite to like the movie “Chasing the Rain” from the director. A time for the story’s next steps… and ours too!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecc 3:11

adventure, attitude, confusion, expectations, faith, hope, joy, meeting needs, mystery, prayer, relationships

unfinished

unfinished work
unfinished work
How much more…
to earn?
to learn?
to overcome?
to change?
to understand?
to experience?

Should we ever become “satisfied” where we are at?
Does being “content” mean we settle when things are not good?
Can we only “rejoice” when all is well?

Life brings more and more questions as we continue to breathe. And if you dig into God’s Word, you should find even more to make you say, “What does this mean?”

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:6

adventure, change, future dreams, God first, influence, mystery, peace, praise, seeing beyond

cloud cover

Cloud RIsing
Cloud Rising

What do clouds make you think of?

dark
dreary
shade
refuge
rain
daydreaming
imagination
wonder/awe
(What are they becoming now?)

A friend of mine does not like clouds in sunsets. I actually prefer them. They absorb and display colors. They let the sun play hide and seek.

God is so creative! Art classes gave such a new lens to seeing His wonders.

I started this painting during a worship service and thought how they are often referred to with the rainbow and covenant of God and then as His traveling tent!

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Ex 13:21-22

And now His creative Spirit resides inside each of us! That is even more awe inspiring!

Such wonder in the clouds…next time maybe I hide a giraffe in there too!

adventure, blessings, change, faith, follow God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, meeting needs, mystery, ponderings, relationships, worship

recognition

Centering
Centering
I was so committed to getting back to daily posts.
and then…

Recognition – I first wanted to use this word in recognizing where God is at work. It is also a word of celebration or acknowledgment and part of my goal here is to bring glory to God.

After my last post, I was still thinking of this painting. How the three trees spoke to me of Father, Son, Spirit and sometimes we don’t see the forest (or God) through the trees.

Here’s where more recognition (noticing God’s hand) came in.

For guests, I usually refresh bedding before their arrival since the cats play under covers. One is there right now! I had taken the bed apart, posted this painting for Monday and that afternoon – my Candian friend I met through this photo/painting said she was driving through and asked to stay overnight. Wisconsin was her original plan.

I felt like God was calling her here and preparing me for her arrival.

As she came in the door (she has stayed one other time), she noticed this painting and remembered the sunset and trees from when we met in Hawaii.

I call these God moments.

I pray today that you too will notice how God IS speaking directly to you and will have recognition for His marvelous ways!

adventure, blessings, day to day, encouragement, follow God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, joy, ponderings, prayer, relationships, seeing beyond

choices

sugar islandShould I write, paint, pray, clean…

We have a multitude of choices each day. Some days are very open and allow us to do all the things we like but I’m sure most of us are finding it hard to keep up, squeeze things in, or even cover the minimum.

Part of our culture?
Lack of time management?
Scheme of our enemy?

I would say ALL.

Lately I have been with people more than paint, paper, or prayer. Or so it might seem. I remember so clearly how doing some of these things had to look a certain way or I didn’t feel I accomplished what I wanted. My creative side had to have something completed and my spiritual side liked to be journaling, marking off chapters, or finishing books.

Some may take what I write as an approval to skip those processes. It is not!

God has been showing me even more ways to carry these things with me. It’s not just a Sunday morning or while I am in front of a place to capture the moments but Christ in me, the hope of glory! Colossians 1:27

It’s not about what we accomplish – it is about who and Whose we are!

John hits that very well in so many places…

“Remain in me as I remain in you.” John 15:4

I pray you feel His Presence with you every moment of every day!