attitude, being yourself, encouragement, God first, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, negative words, outreach, relationships, seeing beyond, self help

loosen up

unfinished work
unfinished work
I remember my first art class in watercolor. My attempts were disasters and the person next to me was amazing. He shocked me when he said, “I want my work to be looser, like yours is.”

We compare too much.

We often demean ourselves in the guise of humility and modesty but what we are frequently doing is telling God that He made us as junk.

He said we were very good, made in His image, reflecting His glory.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT

Lord – forgive us – help us to see ourselves and others as You see them.

adventure, being yourself, comfort zone, God first, Holy Spirit, mystery, prayer, relationships, worship

words of worship

On Wednesday nights I host a small group to worship, pray, and dig into the Word of God.

We were also discussing some of the worship songs and what we were really speaking.

“I surrender”
“I want to know You more”
“Speak to me now”
“Lord have your way”
“like a mighty storm, stir within my soul”

Do we really mean the words we sing?

Can we expect these things to happen?

Our discussions will be in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1. Both are very deep and challenging chapters.
Great to dig in with others. Here’s a good one to ponder…

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9

What questions come to your mind?

adventure, being yourself, blessings, faith, follow God, hope, influence, outreach, relationships

up close and personal

fmb022Many in the blogging world are sharing their hearts. Through words, photos, poetry… It’s easy to find mutual interests. I have felt blessed by many and thank you all!

While in FL I met another fellow blogger, Debby Hudson, the author of Living In Graceland.

She glows even more in person~! She and her husband, Henry, are as hospitable up close as her writing portrays.

I was not prepared for the magnitude of the work being done at their Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. I was in AWE as she gave us a tour. What she shares seems simple and humble but in person God is working in amazing ways in and through the center for so many people.

fmb023As I read these verses I thought of them ~ their work is their worship ~ a beautiful thing!

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
John 4:23-24 MSG

Thank you Lord for the ways You bring others into our lives. Continue pouring Your grace and wisdom to Henry, Debby and all at the Center as they work to share Your love and healing.
And thanks Trip for walking beside us!

being yourself, comfort zone, encouragement, God is faithful, hope, living in the past, negative words, relationships, trust

setting new roots

We had a nice tour of the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Estate in Ft Myers. Hearing the history of their individual lives and how they were intertwined.

There were many great trees on the acreage. The aerial roots of the Banyan were pointed out on what is said to be the first Banyan planted in the continental US. Several figs were adding more to the story…

for water, for light, for hope

for growth, for strength, for life

We all have varying “root” systems. They do not always seem logical, direct or even sturdy but they make each of our lives unique and give us strength to withstand whatever winds come our way.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

adventure, anticipation, being yourself, comfort zone, encouragement, follow God, God is faithful, hope, inspiration, living in fear, love, outreach, ponderings, relationships, seeing beyond, trust

never quit

artprize2011Are you tired of how your life is going?
Do circumstances seem to overwhelm you?
Is hope a distant word?

I remember many years of those feelings. BUT NOW…such a difference knowing God goes before me. He has better steps than those I can imagine. With Him all things are possible.

Jesus is leading those who have gone before us.
The team is cheering us on.
We are never alone! (Heb 12)
The race is not over.

See the light in that tunnel?
Keep looking – it’s shining!

Paul tells us, “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. Ephesians 4:1-7

attitude, being yourself, comfort zone, encouragement, expectations, follow God, influence, living in fear, meeting needs, negative words, pleasing others, rejection, relationships, self help, trust

ouch or hmm

free to soarWas the news offensive?

Did that comment hurt?

We seem to live in a defensive society where general statements bother others. AND we worry too much about it…

Entering the creative world and critiques was difficult at first. I realized how defensive I was. I felt I had to justify my work and my actions.

I am learning to listen more when someone speaks challenging words. They just might have a seed I need to nourish or a sore spot needing to heal.

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. John 6:60-63

Help us Lord to measure to Your truth.

adventure, being yourself, follow God, influence, living in fear, meeting needs, outreach, relationships, seeing beyond, trust

you have a message

Do you feel you have a message to share with the world?

I feel you do.

You might think the “world” is too big of an audience and I know most business and marketing plans want to find our focus group, target market, or preferred customer base.

Do you think we limit ourselves too often?
Or in the name of humility, hold back too much?

This blog WAS to share about work being done in Haiti, Guatemala, and sharing my art. So much changed in my life after leaving the corporate world, I wanted to share some of the process.

Then I stopped. I felt uncomfortable doing such a “public” thing and went back to my personal journal.

A writing conference challenged me that WE ALL have a story we NEED to share. GREAT fellow bloggers continue to move me forward. I thank you ALL for that!

Reminds me of a song they share in Guatemala – I hope you will sing, write, paint, or whatever God is calling you to do…until the whole world hears.

The world needs the message you have to share!

being yourself, comfort zone, expectations, follow God, hope, influence, living in fear, pleasing others, seeing beyond

in memory

IM000574.JPGA very challenging exercise but I think some of you will find this worth pondering.

Imagine you go to a funeral…you enter and realize its yours, three short years from now. Four speakers from different areas of your life will be sharing about your story here on this earth……what will they say?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind

It was 11 years ago when I first read this book and did this exercise. It was intense then and also as I revisited this past week. We are not guaranteed any of our days yet we generally live as if the future should unfold fairly easily as we dream, plan, and go our merry way.

Back then I had a very good job that was paying for my college degree. I thought I knew where my life was headed and the impact I wanted to make…it didn’t go that way…

In prep for our radio time on this chapter I was reviewing my college mission statement. I am amazed at how we often limit our dreaming to the tip of the iceberg – God has so much more He wants for our lives.

Maybe you might want to take some time and imagine what you would like to be said about you.

Is your current life going to bring about those kind of stories?
Will peers, family, and friends be consistent on what they share?
Do you let people really know your heart and passions?
Are you living the dreams God has for your life?
…or only what you think you are capable of?

I’m feeling VERY challenged to uncover more of what He has in mind.

Survival Skills for Everyday Living is the radio show I’ve been invited to share on the past few months. We have a round table discussion on a variety of topics. You can listen online or to the recordings. We’ll be sharing the week of July 15 on our responses to this chapter.

being yourself, expectations, follow God, influence, meeting needs, pleasing others, ponderings, rejection, relationships

gifts that matter

zRocks webOur church is stepping through 1 Corinthians. Recent weeks have been some great teachings on Spiritual Gifts for the edification of the body.

One of my passion areas is what many call Asset Based Community Development. Basically this is where you uncover the “gifts” people have and engage all to bring wholeness, unity and good to the group pursuing them.

We often categorize people and gifts. Whether we use worldly words or churchy words, ALL are needed as part of this earth dwelling body. I feel when we separate people with words like secular, believer, or other terms, we are not being very much like Jesus. He didn’t worry as much as we do about who he was hanging around with….

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13