attitude, comfort zone, day to day, God is faithful, influence, Jesus, joy, ponderings, praise, renewal, trust

thanks in all things

 

gardenweb21 Thessalonians 1 – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Seems like a mighty tall order and I ponder and ask,
“Am I doing this?”
“What does this mean to my life?”

What does it really look like to –
REJOICE ALWAYS?
PRAY CONTINUALLY?
GIVE THANKS IN ALL?

Then to read further that it’s God’s will…which says to me it’s not just a suggestion.

I think of John 10:10 – the bad of the thief or the abundance of God – where will we focus?Some may feel we need to rejoice, pray and thank for the bad in our lives. Which it does bring character, strength and more. But I feel Paul is saying for us to remember always God’s promises, His words of encouragement and Christ’s victory at the cross.

I think this verse brings some great leftovers to continue this Thanksgiving week.
May your days be filled with His goodness and grace! God’s blessings to you and yours.

attitude, blessings, God first, joy, ponderings, praise, real love, relationships, worship

tune ups

Spirit Dance web
Spirit Dance

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Praise like prayer is not a one way street. It’s one of the most amazing parts of any relationship and especially with Father, Son and Spirit.

Even a simple hymn should not just be about hitting the right notes, but hitting the genuine heart strings.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12

That is something to praises about!!
Let our praises each day bring a deeper tuning of our hearts to Yours Lord…

 

anticipation, comfort zone, day to day, God first, influence, joy, love, mystery, ponderings, relationships

grace and glory

yak1214
Reflection

Do you ever have certain verses come in your prayers and you don’t know where they are in the Bible? I frequently look them up to find context and help me remember the reference.

I felt the Lord saying, “No good thing will I withhold…”

It brought me to beautiful Psalm 84 and I was even more intrigued with the first part of the verse and how the word “glory” is used.

We don’t question the Lord giving grace to us, but glory? 

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 KJV
(ESV says favor and honor.)

Most often we are thinking of God’s glory or the eternal glory in heaven.

The Lord often tells me to go sit and listen. Yesterday He had me sit in the sun and as the intense brightness was on my face and closed eyes, He said, “The sun is a direct reflection of MY glory.” It made me think of Moses asking to see His glory and beaming so brightly the people couldn’t handle it so he covered his face.

We also are to be a reflection of His glory AND increasing in it!!!

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding (reflecting) the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV

How have we been showing HIS glory in our lives lately?

I’m finding wonderful nuggets in here so will share on this more…

anticipation, change, God is faithful, inspiration, joy, mystery, ponderings, relax, seeing beyond

framed and named

fill-er-up-web
Fill ‘er Up
solo-flight-web
Solo Flight

In the midst of other things in life, I finished these local scenes for an upcoming exhibit. Hope you like the sneak peek. Portraits are not my forte but I do love to capture people and movement. The local Splash Pad is filled with both on a warm summer day! It was a treasure to watch, snap some photos and imagine how I could bring different things to life.

So often painters are asked, “How long does it take you?”

I often say, “Until it’s finished.”

Just like God’s work in our lives, it really depends. Some journeys are smoother than others.

The more detailed boy – went quickly. I had several photos of the water spray and none include the little girl in that position. I pieced three photos which all had her profile. Her face and head shape seemed wrong with each paint edit. A few days later, the head movement idea came and though difficult to get a pink ear to show in blond hair – it worked.

I think they will bring some great smiles to those viewing our “Art Around Town” showing at Zeeland’s Second Reformed Church. A great gallery space our Zeeland Artists group is thrilled to work with on this plein air project.

I pray you find some extra joy and exploration in your week!

anticipation, attitude, blessings, hope, joy, ponderings, praise, seeing beyond, worship

finding delight


IMG_3549Sometimes the most beautiful moments are found in the mess of unfinished things. 

Smelling fresh cut wood under the saw.
Sampling cookie dough.
Lathering shaving cream.
Seeing a sun burst through the clouds.
(Even in a construction zone!)

Everything and everyone is in process. 

We often hold off our enjoyment of life until something is completed, corrected or accomplished.

God brings so much goodness around us begging for our attention and praise…

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

Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2

I pray your senses will be further awakened to find new joy and delight in each day!

anticipation, attitude, change, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, hope, joy, living in fear, mystery, ponderings, seeing beyond

seeing new

IMG_3430I have been doing some occasional work with a company and the view is amazing. Even when I’m seeing the approaching storms – its glorious because I know I’m well protected.

Do you know God’s protection?
Do you feel secure in His plans, His timing?
Are you confident of how He has designed you?

I can’t always answer yes to these but I have definitely learned that what we look at and think on is as important as what we say.

If we focus on what is not happening, what is a mess, what the neighbors say or do – we are not keeping our eyes where they need to be – on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Even focusing on ourselves – is not focusing on Him.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message

Maybe this week you’ll invite the Holy Spirit – the Counselor and Friend – to let you see new things as you read His word, enjoy His creation and listen to His voice in the wind…

 

anticipation, blessings, expectations, faith, God is faithful, hope, joy, negative words, ponderings, praise, trust, wisdom

its a process

3 in process
triptych in process (3 squares)

Good paintings and not so good ones take time. We regularly seek immediacy. Drive-thru’s are not just for burgers anymore.

We recently exhibited at Great Legs Winery where they shared the process of their wine – it’s been aging five years in anticipation for their business.

How long have you been bottled and waiting?

Do you think our Creator, knows the best time for release?

A regular question we ask God is, “Why?”
I’ve found much better results in asking, “What am I to learn through this?”
Yet Jesus’ first miracle made the BEST wine in a very short time.

Our preparation time, used wisely, sets us up for the right release.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52

If Jesus, David, Joseph, Abraham and Sarah had to wait a bit, why do we think everything should be immediate? Do we learn listening, patience, peace, and self-control when we rush, whine and demand? 

I am definitely a believer in the power of prayer and God acting immediately but impatience often holds us from the wisdom we need more than our answer.

I pray we will be expectant for His answers and patient in the process as He continues to create the masterpiece of our lives!

attitude, God is faithful, influence, joy, peace, ponderings, praise, rest, trust

enter

Creekside
Creekside
Some weeks I create more “drafts” then I do posts. This was one where I found great words, more questions and continue to seek wisdom. It makes this painting call to me as a resting place…

God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to his people!

His river flows right through the city of God-Most-High, into his holy dwelling place. God is in the midst of his city, secure and never shaken. At daybreak his help will be seen, with the appearing of the dawn.

When the nations are in uproar, with their tottering kingdoms, God simply raises his voice
and the earth begins to disintegrate before him!

Here he comes!
The Commander!
The mighty Lord of Angel-Armies is on our side!
The God of Jacob fights for us!
Psalm 46:4-7 The Passion Translation

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

attitude, blessings, encouragement, God is faithful, influence, joy, peace, relax, rest, trust

in the quiet

Glowing Trio
Glowing Trio
One of those last warm nights to sit on the screened porch with the cats, listening to the gentle breeze, hearing the crickets, and feeling the peace of His presence. A beautiful way to end the day and celebrate all He has planned for His children, His Bride.

Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.

The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
1 Thessalonians 5:15-24 MSG