I won’t share photo progress. It is way too messy. Three weeks ago I pulled up the dark green indoor/outdoor carpet on the porch. It was here when I got the house in 1993 and was the only carpet in the house. The porch is definitely a favorite place for cats and me so the dreams of change started long ago. This seemed the year to tackle it.
About 4 years ago I pulled back a corner to see how easy it might be removed. Didn’t seem too hard. I started looking for flooring, reading about how to remove the carpet glue and didn’t realize there was linoleum gunk in there too. I just finished grinding down the last section to pretty clean cement! WOW – what a lightness to the space!
We all have some dreams. Whether it be with a house project, improving relationships, starting a garden, joining a ministry or even a new career. Sometimes NOW is not the time, but keep the dreams alive! Read, improve, learn. Put into action what you’re able to now and write, journal or draw what it WILL be like.
Dreams do come true but with a cost and daring to keep it alive!
“Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, And looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, And cries it shall be done.” Charles Wesley
We are ALL called to dream BIG dreams! With God – nothing is impossible.
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. 2 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. 3 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.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 5 Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 6 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. 7 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.
8 “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. 9 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.
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.)
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?)
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!!!
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.
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.
Several new paintings are waiting for final touches. As this rooster sat on the wall staring at me, so many thoughts of Simon/Peter’s story came to mind. After finishing touches as I was doing more of the engraving, the words “chicken scratch” came very strong.
The original painting was a realistic rooster that never felt finished. I was going to totally cover it up then thought to leave some realism in with the abstract.
As I thought of Simon/Peter, the first engravings in one layer of paint were, “denial – one – two – three”.
Jesus wasn’t surprised by that denial. He even told Simon/Peter it would happen.
I looked up the name Simon – in Greek it means flat or snub nosed. I think we can say he “snubbed” Jesus and as said – before the rooster crowed.
I also found great hope in this painting and the Simon (Peter) story. You could say Simon didn’t know how the denial would turn out but Jesus told him quite clearly when he spoke the name he would be known by…
Matthew 16:15-19 NIV 15 …Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
There was a depth to their relationship. Jesus was calling out the GOLD in Simon – that he would be Cephas (Peter), the rock!
Denial was in his history. The chicken scratch of past – not the ROCK of his future!
Your life has a message from Jesus too! We need to be like Peter and willing to hear it from the Lord as He calls us to our future. The world needs what we are carrying! We were made for such a time as this!
I pray that this week, you will hear the call of God to be ALL that He created you to be. That you would have courage to step forward to ALL that He has in store for you! Thank you Jesus for this gift of life on earth – as it is in heaven!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
I remember thinking I was so unworthy of God’s love, goodness or grace. Guilt and lies had hung a cord of shame around my neck that continued to chock off hope.
God loves to do MIGHTY things in our lives when we decide to surrender.
I’ve learned that I have to keep on surrendering! It’s like a great dam that has been built is being dismantled bit by bit and releasing treasures as the new water churns up those jewels that were buried further and further by my choices, life influences and the lies of the world.
Thank you Lord that everyone of us has reason to HOPE when we have You! That You truly never leave or forsake and always want to lavish Your love on us. Let us learn to surrender more AND receive the wonders that are uncovered from the depths!
My people are primed and ready. I see their hearts are willing and I’m entrusting them with secrets of kingdom strategy. There will seem a delay but it’s not. My plans cannot be delayed. I am breaking new ground. It’s not the same way in all places. Learning from others is good, but be prepared for new to be shown.
More? Justice will be served. Restoration comes.
1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:1-11
Lord – we come today to praise You and honor You. We thank you that Your Word is truth and it’s not about our purposes but about Yours. We want to hear Your heart, to know Your purposes and we thank You that Your words are truth, Your ways are faithful, trusting in You is the best thing we can do!
Here’s a good question to ask God. “What’s on your heart Lord?”
My people are hurting…they need the love of the Father. The perfect love that takes away all fear, that empowers with wonder and overcomes all the odds. It’s a joyous part of the journey that overcomes all obstacles and tears down all boundaries. No walls can keep Me away when you say “Yes Papa”.
Call to me, I will answer! I am here, sense My presence. My heart is for you. It is filled with abundance, receive my child, receive my goodness. I withhold no good thing from those who ask. Ask and it will be given, ask, I am waiting and I am willing. Ask.
Are you asking?
Is it just a motion or are you expecting His answer?
Are you taking time to listen?
Ask Him to share a verse, a word, a picture, a song. Write it down and ask Him again to explain why He shared that. So many of our thoughts are God’s promptings. He knows us so intimately.
This LINK will share with you several verses on how long God really has known you!
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8
Seldom going to give us what we desire until we ASK.
Heavenly Father – thank you that You know us so well. You know just what we need, what we are facing with trails, relationships and questions. You know who we are going to encounter today. Over and over in Your word, you tell us that all we have to do is ask. It’s not about our works but about Your goodness. We ASK Lord to know Your heart better. We ASK Lord to have great wisdom and revelation in our knowledge of You. We ASK Lord that You would prepare us and those we need to share Your love with. We ASK for earthly relationships restored. We ASK for healing and wholeness for those sick and confused. We ASK for peace to surround our world. And we ASK to hear Your voice with a new clarity that increases each day. We give thanks Lord that Your sheep hear Your voice and another they will not follow!