adventure, change, comfort zone, confusion, Holy Spirit, inspiration, living in the past, mystery, ponderings, seeing beyond, trust

vision source

New Discovery web
New Discovery

Last weeks ministry conference brought many great points to ponder. I’ll share a few areas I look forward to digging deeper on.

The story of Cornelius and Peter’s “confusing” call to go to him. Peter finds revelation from his “vision” and “stepping” in obedience.

Was going to Cornelius safe for Peter?
Was it comfortable?
His vision of animals and to kill and eat – how does that translate to all “people” being acceptable to God?

God’s ways are seldom our normal ways! 

Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.”
Acts 10:34-36

Peter was trying to limit God with his reaction to the vision. Yes a great follower but still being shown more. He dared to step out in what was uncomfortable.

Thank you God that we have such examples of faith in action. Not just faith in traditions and understanding, but faith that what You share is even more important. Let us not discount what You are revealing to us each day. 

attitude, blessings, comfort zone, expectations, God first, Holy Spirit, influence, Jesus, joy, ponderings, praise, prayer

listen to the rocks

img_4539As I’m painting rocks – His words are in my heart…
Lord, I praise you because we are fearfully and wonderfully made! You have created us in Your likeness and given us a heart that can love as you do! I thank You that there is nothing too hard for You and as we walk with You – nothing is too hard for us! Guide us in this week to walk with love and grace to all we encounter. Let our words be filled with encouragement and joy as we join the rocks in praising Your ways! 

They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
    the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
    Glory in the high places!

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
Luke 19:35-40

attitude, comfort zone, expectations, follow God, Holy Spirit, ponderings, relationships, trust

good counsel

image-1-4Some “shifting” in life so my blogging may be a simple verse or a weekend rambling. The verse from yesterday is in my ponder position this week.

Are you eager for the glorious second coming of Jesus and feeling we’re left alone to the wolves of this world?
What of our Helper & Counselor?
How is it to our advantage to have the Spirit with us and not Jesus?

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13 NIV

If he is the Helper, Counselor, speaks the truth he hears from God and knows what is to come – maybe we need to get to know him a better… 

May you know the greatness of the Father’s love today. The grace of Jesus and the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Blessings dear ones!

comfort zone, confusion, faith, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, Jesus, ponderings, prayer, relationships, trust

do you question

trust encaustic
TRUST – encaustic

Do you think God is eager for us to enter heaven?
Why doesn’t He take us as soon as we believe?
What purpose is there to endure earthly life and death before our heavenly one?
Is our earthly life only a testing before the sifting and judging?
Are the things we do and skills we learn on earth needed for our eternal future?

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge! Its depths can never be measured! We cannot understand His judgments or explain the mysterious ways that He works! Romans 11:33 VOICE

 

Our “natural” minds can’t understand. That is also why we have the Holy Spirit as our Counselor and why He says we need to renew our minds. Romans 12:2

 

Thank you Lord for Your Word. It is a great way to get to know You and hearing Your voice is so encouraging! Thank you for Your Presence that dwells within us, that You walk with your children every moment of every day – even if they don’t know Your saving grace. We seek further wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You as we continue our journey of faith on this earth. 

adventure, attitude, change, comfort zone, follow God, living in fear, outreach, ponderings, seeing beyond, trust

plans expand

dune-in-processMy plan for January was to do several small paintings. Trying new color mixes, some layering ideas and in reality – trying to discover what seems covered.

Even though I’ve been painting for years, I feel there is something more I am supposed to bring to the canvas (and to my writing.) I don’t “feel” like I have yet found it, so I continue to ask, seek and knock…

I did several small 5×7 and a couple 12×12 pieces in January. Monday I started a 16×40 piece that does stretch me. I’ve taken photos along the way to later create a moving progress “video” which will stretch me even more. This is a small section where I used some different techniques.

I ponder again… How often are we thinking small when God wants us to think big? Limiting our ideas, creativity and ability. Settling for what is safe, known, reasonable instead of stepping out on the water. Saying we are “only human” when in reality – with Christ in us…we are “MORE than human”. 

I pray you will let this year be one of dreaming again. Of discovering the more God has really designed you for. You are needed and given great gifts by our heavenly Father that the world is waiting for. No matter what limitations you might feel are in your life – there is more to your story. 

Even greater things will you do – John 14:12
With God – nothing is impossible!

 

change, comfort zone, expectations, God is faithful, hope, influence, living in fear, living in the past, ponderings, renewal, self help

life to the full

free to soar
Free to Soar

Much of my life right now is around “retired” people. Their focus is helping the aging, being the aging, time with kids and grand kids, extra travel, hobbies and relaxing.

What does “retirement” mean to you?
Do you think of it as “life to the full”?

We spend LIFE working to save for retirement.
Investing to save for retirement.
Exercising to be fit for retirement.
Dreaming about when we reach retirement.
Hoping we make it to retirement.

Many don’t make it that far, others are forced out of work early, health issues keep some home bound and the dreams and ideas for those “later years” don’t always happen.

The words of John are potent and this is a powerful verse in a great variety of ways.

The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. John 10:10 TLB

Are we under the rule of the thief OR the King of Kings?
Do we really understand the “fullness” of God’s “purpose” here?

Maybe it’s time to take back what the enemy has been stealing.

Dear God – HELP! Help us to see the fullness You desire for our lives, no matter our age, health or other perceived limitations. Help us to step up and step out to bring Your fullness to others. Give us the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your ways so we can truly do what we were created for. Bring boldness, courage and strength to Your body Lord that we would stand in unity and see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…

blessings, comfort zone, God first, hope, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, outreach, ponderings, real love, relationships, wisdom

the moments

beach027I heard from mom my phone wasn’t receiving messages. It was great to listen to some of them again. An artist/singer friend called with her husband to leave a Happy Birthday song! That one stays in the save list for smiles through the year.

Another was from a woman I met last April who was at the end of hope…it was the majority of her years. In some ways I barged into her life. She did all she could to push me away. I’m smiling as I remember some of the tense moments and even my talk with God later, “Do you really need me around this negative person?”

She asked me not to get involved in her life unless I was going to really be there. I was very honest to say, “I don’t know how long I’ll be around but I would like to walk with you while I can.” We found some good footing and even better, she found some hope in Jesus.

There is so much to her story I don’t know but I clearly saw God’s hand reaching out to her with great possibilities if she would press in to His goodness. She did! She was baptized and in love with Jesus. As a teen she felt a calling to ministry so finally, 30 years later, she signed up for ministry classes.

 

My friend went to be with Jesus in November and its so sweet to think of her out of physical and mental pain and getting tutored direct! I was remembering her after hearing the message and painting another beach scene…she loved the beach.

Questions I’m pondering and maybe you will too…

How many of those around me will be able to run to the arms of Jesus? 
What am I doing to reach OUT instead of just invite IN? 
Where can I get to know those who don’t yet believe? 
Are there “Christians” around me who don’t really know the fullness His love? 

Thank you Lord that You direct our steps – guide us to those we need to touch for You. Prepare their hearts and help us break down those walls of separation. Let us not just smile and wave but truly share the love of Jesus with them. It’s the best thing in this world!! Amen

 

 

attitude, comfort zone, day to day, God is faithful, hope, Jesus, living in fear, ponderings, trust

trusting God

h48This photo is from a time in Haiti. The USA piece of metal was from vegetable oil and poked over and over to become a grating surface.
Sound like our political tensions? 

The pot below is made in Haiti…on lids all around the country are the words Jesus. Extra sturdy and smooth compared to the improvised grater.  hmmmm…

Today will be filled with good and bad. It’s guaranteed no matter what day of the week or the year. No matter your feelings – be kind to others. 

I know we’ll have a great mix of emotions with President Trump being sworn into office today. I’m not a fan but I won’t resort to spewing. Who we elect affects our country and our lives but even more important is our SOURCE! That should not be found in the government but in the Creator of all. We are much more than Americans or part of democracy, we ARE children of God!

IN GOD WE TRUST should be our mindset no matter what. 

Where is your trust today?
Is anything to hard for God?

We come today Lord to pray for that peace that surpasses all understanding to guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That grace and love will triumph over evil and we will be UNITED in You. Thank you that You are always concerned with what is on our hearts and long for us to know Your peace. I pray that no matter our feelings, we will not agree with hate. Thank you Lord that you are always at work on our behalf. We give You praise and declare Your goodness – today and every day. We ARE TRUSTING IN YOU! We are ALL made from dust and yet made in Your image. Guide us Lord to pray for our nation and leaders, to seek You first, to trust You fully and rest in Your wisdom. In Jesus name – Amen.

comfort zone, follow God, influence, pleasing others, ponderings, relationships, trust, wisdom

growing wings

Several years ago I ran across this little one out of it’s nest. I didn’t know what to do for it. I tried to usher it toward a tree so it would not go from sidewalk to parking lot. There’s a big dangerous world out there little bird…I’d like you to grow up and be able to fly. I’m not sure how it fared.

A message to me today and maybe to you – though we can try our best to be helpful, we can’t guarantee success or outcome. So much will depend on their choices too.

Our part is to do what the Lord tells us to do…no more and no less. 

Church is reading in Ezekiel this month. Another group was talking on evangelism and discussed Ezekiel’s calling. Ezekiel chapter 2 says he was told he must share – whether they listen or fail to listen. Jesus says in several places including John, He is speaking what the Father speaks and doing the will of the Him who sent me. Neither of their steps looked logical, reasonable or easy. Measurable outcomes were not immediately seen.

If we are focused on what God is leading us to do and how, we’ll know how hard to press, we’ll know when we’re not supposed to speak and we’ll know when our work is done – letting God to do His part.

As a person who does like “problem solving”, I’m used to feeling I need to be the one to wrap it up and make sure it’s taken care of. Seeing an outcome that shows my role is complete. Thank you Lord for teaching me further where I need to step and when I need to step away. It’s not always comfortable or going with my logic, but it is getting easier to trust Your words and Your ways.

 

attitude, comfort zone, follow God, ponderings, relax, seeing beyond

discovering goodness

img_4257I find both positive and negative parts to a Michigan winter. Though I am not a fan of the cold – I wanted to share some thoughts today. I’ll let you decide if they are good or bad.

Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters. Proverbs 25:13

Snow is beautiful as it blankets the roads and lawns in a clean fresh coat of white. It make even the moonlight reflect to lighten the sky. The peace in the silence and stillness can take your breath away. The extra fluffs resting on branches seem like cotton fields in their fullness. A beautiful excuse to hibernate with tea and reading or be intentional to go visit another. To see the signs of extra visitors as the prints reveal their true paths.

I know many get more excited with skies, mobiles or shoes, but for now, I’ll settle for the gentleness of the season, warm my tea and ponder some powerful words…

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:10-12