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, change, comfort zone, influence, meeting needs, outreach, ponderings, rejection, relationships

light source

copper-trees01-webI do love to dig into Ephesians… Paul shares such a passion – a heart truly “rooted and grounded in love” for ALL. We know his story now but imagine how he felt along the way.

“Who am I to reach these people?”

Who are we not too!

We (meaning self on many days) seem to prefer the company of those we can relate to; with the same ideals, morals, beliefs. We are supposed to be engaged with “the church” but it wasn’t to exclude people but to REACH OUT to them as we are “being the church.”

Our light source should be more how we can serve God’s purposes on this earth than how we can do something comfortable with ease.

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
Ephesians 3:6-7

Help us ALL to see outside ourselves Lord. To REACH out past our comfort zones and safety nets and let the many gifts You have put in us be stretched, used and celebrated as we share Your Light.

 

attitude, blessings, busy, day to day, God first, hope, influence, meeting needs, outreach, peace, ponderings, relationships

towards the light

copper-trees02-webI don’t know about you but I do walk down the street and through the store looking to engage eyes with others and share a smile or hello. I’m finding more and more are either on the phone, looking at the phone or hanging their head to avoid everyone.

It was something I noticed years ago in the office hallways and see amplified in our techno world.

Distance and distraction that leaves others feeling less and less light in their lives.

Be the light! No matter who will or will not look. Someone is noticing.
Shine the light! You don’t know whose darkness will be dispelled.
Pray in advance for the LIGHT! God knows how to prepare hearts in advance so you can do your part as His vessel in every step you take.

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.
John 1:3-5 MSG

 

 

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.

 

anticipation, blessings, busy, expectations, God is faithful, inspiration, outreach, praise, relationships, seeing beyond

its coming

IMG_1885More is always coming!

A unique season here as I seem to be re-entering the “outside” art world. A month long exhibit for our art group is happening in a nearby city. A local business person has let us do quick weekend displays in his store. Since his space is not being fully utilized we asked about displaying art regularly. After some discussions, he has very graciously agreed. We are amazed at how its coming together!!

He is let us have the downtown front windows and has moved his hardware further back. Their framing area will remain in the space and we believe we will be a good compliment to each other and to the community.

I think we agreed on our window signage last night…

Hardware – Framing – Art
…the working studio of Zeeland Artists Collective

Set up is Dec 1 with a community event Dec 9-12.
That is a change that will keep you a bit busier!

back when I can…

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

busy, change, follow God, influence, meeting needs, outreach, pleasing others, ponderings, prayer, relationships

deeper unity

One Lord One Church
One Lord
One Church
Often when reading a different Bible version – verses usually ignored – stand out more.

The angel to Zechariah speaking about his coming son John…

And he will prepare a united people who are ready for the Lord’s appearing. Luke 1:17 TPT

(Notes “united people” is found in the Aramaic text. Most versions say, “a people.”) Church is studying Exodus which is also God preparing “a people.”

We can easily see division all around. We may be in church but are we “being the church” that is described through His Word?

Are we following what He sets before us or what we desire? Romans 8
Is our focus more on the world or even serving others than Him? Luke 10
Add in how technology keeps people even busier…

I’ve been asking myself several of these tough questions. Some answers are really stretching me. I don’t want to just be a good American – I desire the fullness He designed for me and I pray you will want that too.

attitude, expectations, influence, living in fear, love, meeting needs, negative words, outreach, pleasing others, ponderings, real love, rejection, relationships

note – love self

Do you find it hard to love “some” others?

His message hasn’t changed and one of our hardest battles is in truly loving as Jesus did. Maybe we don’t know how to love ourselves as we should…

holy and blameless
holy and blameless

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
James 2:8

Help us Lord to see ourselves as You see us, dearly loved, Your delight, made new, forgiven, whole, more than conquerors…
Help us to not compare and reject ourselves or others but to see as You see.

Give us Your eyes Lord.

Ask the Lord for new light as you read His Word…let it touch your heart not just your head, that His Spirit would speak to our spirit.

anticipation, blessings, comfort zone, follow God, influence, Jesus, joy, outreach, relax, trust

shine on

Shining Through
Shining Through
We all cast a glow or a shadow or both. Depending on where the sun is shining, right?

Brings me to ask how is the Son of God shining through me?

I feel there is a belief many have (including me often) that humility is being a shadow, staying in the darkness, and definitely avoiding a spot light.

How are we going to show His goodness and share His glory from there?

I am one who prefers to work “behind the scenes” but…
I think it is time for ALL OF US to SHINE!

Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 MSG

anticipation, attitude, day to day, God first, influence, love, meeting needs, outreach, pleasing others, relationships, seeing beyond

under it all

Low Lily
Low Lily
As I started this piece, I found it hard to capture the full plant on such a small canvas while painting live. The stray bloom toward the bottom became the focus.

Many of God’s ways are not focused on what is bold and centered, but on what is underneath. The gems that He has tucked away for those who will take time to notice…

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14 MSG

Even as saints of the Most High God, we still need to be beautiful and lovely along the way.