Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good-Bye and Hello

Well, today is the last day of the Old Year. At the beginning of this year I set out to write and draw everyday. I did that 238 times in 365 days... I am ashamed I didn't do it everyday as I hoped, yet I am also glad I had the opportunity to do it as often as I did. God blessed me in many ways this year and even though as I look back through these post I see the unfaithful attitude I had at times, I know that even then God was with me. He had me go through some of those things to make me who I am today and who I will be tomorrow, even if I don't see that now.

I am going to continue to blog, not everyday, maybe not even weekly... I will write, and share the things that God lays on my heart to share... I will be coming up with a new title for this blog since if I am not writing daily I can't have that name...

It is my prayer that this new year will be a trek filled with wonderful things that God has planned for me, for you, for all of us. Good or Bad, Happy or Sad, life can be lived in Faith, Love, and Joy...

Now Good Bye to the Old and Hello to The New!

Thank you Lord for the world of possibility that lies before us!






Saturday, December 28, 2013

HUNGRY

Yesterday I read a devotion that spoke about this verse in Hebrews 4:12
"For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart."
After I read that devotion I read the passage from Proverbs for the day (Proverbs 27) The quote today is from that chapter. It always amazes me when things all come together in a way that can only be from God. Like going to Sunday school and learning about something that touched your heart and then the service being about that same thing, something you needed.... This was a similar event and happens quite often to me. I will read one thing and then the next will go along the same line... so here is what I am getting from these two passages.

The Bible says we are to be content (Philippians 4:11, I Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5). This I think is speaking of our physical lives. To be content with our jobs, our living situations, and anything else that may come our way in this life. In our spiritual person, we should always be striving to be who God wants us to be. The word of God will help us to seek "perfection" to grow continually in the spirit. So spiritual we should not be content. The Bible talks about the milk and the meat of the word (I Corinthians 3:2,  Hebrews 5:12-13, I Peter 2:2). We should want to get to the meat of the word, deep thoughts and profound ideas that will bring us closer to the Christians God would have us to be.

If we become content with our lives spiritually then like the quote says, the "satisfied" soul loathes the honeycomb... They don't want the sweetest parts of the word anymore or any part for that matter. They are fine just where they are... "satisfied".

We should be like the person in the second part of the verse who is hungry and longing to learn and grow in the meat of the word, even if it is tough, bitter, hard to handle. Even if it steps on our toes and makes as want to hide. The word is what helps us grow and learn to be who God wants us to be, if we become satisfied with who we are spiritually we grow stagnant, and God has a hard time using us.

Lord, I long to never be content spiritually, I want to always be learning and growing in your word and your life for me. I do need to learn to be content in my circumstances so that those outward things of this world do not make me forget to look for the spiritual things you send my way. Thank-you for your word and your guidance in this world.

The Quote:
"A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." ~Proverbs 27:7
The Drawing:

 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CHIRSTMAS


The Quote:
"There is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." ~Luke 2: 11
We do not know the actual day or hour that Christ was born. It happen many years ago in Bethlehem. God came to earth to live a perfect life, to teach us how we should live. He lived on this earth as a lamb without blemish, so that He could be the Last and most perfect sacrifice for us all! On a tree many years ago, our Savior died to set us free. He paid the ultimate price so we would not have too. I am so glad it didn't stop there.... He rose from the grave and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, waiting for all who will believe in Him to join Him!

God had such magnificent Love for us, even though we had turned our backs on Him many, many times tthat he gave us the most precious gift anyone can get.... Forgiveness.

May God bless you and keep you this Christmas Season and throughout the years to come.

Lord, I pray that you love would be manifested in each of our lives in a way that can only come from you and that we can share that love will all we meet! Thank-you for your most precious gift!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

THANKS

Today is Thanksgiving here in the US. We have so many things to be thankful for in this country,in this world, in this life!

First, there is life. On November 30 last year I had my second heart attack. God has blessed me so many times by keeping me alive. I have no idea why or what He has planned for me that He is keeping me around. I know I want to be willing everyday to serve Him and to help those in need He brings my way, any way I can.

I have a place to live, to work, and to go to church. I am free (at this point) to do, to worship, and to live the way I want to as long as it is lawful. God has blessed America to stay a nation for over 200 years, and I believe that it is only because there are God fearing people who pray daily for it. I believe there will come a time when we will have to ask God like Abraham did... "Would you also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" Suppose there were 50 righteous in the city; would you destroy the place and not spare it for the 50 righteous that were in it?" (Genesis 18: 23-24) Today, we are safe, tomorrow may be a different story.

I have a Daughter who is beautiful in so many ways. God blessed me good when he gave her to me. I have a brother and a Dad, a step-mom and many many other aunts, uncles, cousins and so on... I love them all and I am glad they are in my life. I have a half-sister out there somewhere that I wish I could meet and get to know. I love her also even though I have never met her!

I have friends in many places all over the world and they are all very special to me! Some of them more than they know. They all have a special place in my heart and I am thankful for them!

I am Most thankful for my LORD, my Savior, my God! He is my all, without Him I am nothing. He is the air I breath and the song I sing. I do not live up to His will for my life on a daily basis, yet I know He still loves me. He sees my heart and knows the good and evil in me. I pray He will continue to guide me through this life.

I am Thankful that I have the ability to write this blog. Sometimes it does not make any sense I know, yet I share my heart here, and I am glad I can. Thanks to all of you who read it.

Lord, help me to be thankful every day of my life, not just on this one! You are so awesome and have given me so much! Thank-you!

The Quote:
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Drawing:

Monday, November 18, 2013

STUFF

Stuff happens! I have tried so hard to keep this blog going and really I thought that I would do much better. Things just get in the way, it is hard to get motivated sometimes. Even today this is not an easy task. I know I haven't written in a while, I want too.

Stuff can mean a lot of things.... You could look at it like a closet filled to the brim that someone has opened and everything has fallen out on top of them. At times that is how my life feels like an avalanche of unusual odds and ends tumbling into my space and making it hard to function.

Stuff can be a boulder or log in the road that makes you turn around, causing you to detour from your chosen path. Those hindrances are often large, time consuming, unexpected, and at times hazardous, yet they can most often also be something that is needed to get us back on the right path.

Stuff can be a dead end! No where to turn it seems because there is not enough room to maneuver, and backing up is rarely an option. Yet. in those times a way out is provided even if you have to crawl through a tight space or climb a high mountain.

Most of the stuff that comes our way we bring on ourselves. The words spoken or the actions taken without thinking can cause stuff to pile up. We make choices whether we think that all is well or we know it is not, we do them anyway.... then we complain about the stuff that is in our way. There are times it is the stuff of others that has gotten in our way somehow, we still allowed that to happen....

So lately, my stuff and the stuff I have allowed to get in my way has kept me from writing and drawing and spending much time being creative. I hope that I can get back on track... I am trying... just need to push some stuff out of the way!

Quote:
"Same old stuff, different day." ~Anonymous

The Drawing:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WORKMANSHIP

The Quote:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

Every time I see the word workmanship in the bible I think of a sculptor. God created each of us in His image, and for His glory. When we become Christians, we become a new creation in Christ and God starts to chisel away all the bad things in our lives that hinder Him from using us the way He wants to.

God doesn't do anything half way, it is all or nothing with Him. We are either going to allow Him to use the chisel on our lives and work a wondrous work or we are not going to let Him. We can not stand on the fence, we can not be lukewarm. When God works on us it may hurt, it may cause us pain and suffering. In the end it will all be worth it.

Lord help me to be a new creation in you, your workmanship for your honor and glory. I know it is going to hurt, I am willing to be put through the pain. Lord, I want to be used by you. Thank-you Lord for taking the time to help me become more like you.

PS: Here is the link to a video by the Skit Guys about this.... http://skitguys.com/videos/item/gods-chisel

The Drawing:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NOT

The Quote:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

I God's eye I am saved because of His grace and faith. I have a gift that no one else could give me, only God.

It is NOT something I can do for myself. If I had to save my self I would still be on my way to hell. I am NOT good enough. I am NOT strong enough. I do NOT have the knowledge or the power to make it to heaven on my own merit. Without God's gift of love and grace I would NOT be saved.

I can NOT do anything to earn the gift. If I could it would make the gift nothing. Once God gave me the gift it was mine forever. NOT one thing can take the gift God gave me away. I can NOT do anything to lose the gift God has given me. I might hide it or cover it with new sins, God looks right through all that and sees the gift. I can NOT hide it from God.

This does NOT mean I can go out and do whatever I want. It does NOT give me a license to sin. I can NOT stop working for God's kingdom just because I have this gift. Well, I could do these things.... I should NOT want too.

Lord, help me to NOT take the gift you gave me for granted. Help me to NOT forget to share your love and grace with others. Help me to be the person you see me as and NOT the person I think I am. Thank you Lord for the gifts you have given me.

The Drawing:


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

RICHES

The Quote:
"..that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:7

I believe that this verse is saying that I will be shown God's grace and kindness toward me in the time to come. Not just grace but exceeding riches of grace,  not just kindness but exceeding riches of kindness. In my mine that means grace and kindness more abundant than any we could ever possibly fathom.

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10-11), His riches are undeterminable and infinite. I am amazed that in the ages to come He will show me all this according to His grace and kindness. I deserve Hell and I will get His riches, because I am in Christ Jesus. I am a follower of Christ. I can not do anything to receive the gift of salvation, if I could it would make Christ's death nothing. I can however make my rewards or riches in heaven more, by serving God, with the right attitude.

Even though here on earth I am not wealthy with money, or things that this world has to offer, I know that in the ages to come I will be rich beyond my wildest ideas. Here on earth I am rich in the love of God and Christ. I am rich in the fact that I try to serve God with a willing spirit. I am rich in love for others. I am rich because of the grace and kindness the Lord has shown me.

Lord, thank-you for your grace and kindness, for your love in the past, now, and in the ages to come. Help me to share that love with others that come into my live.

The Drawing:

Monday, October 28, 2013

TOGETHER

The Quote:
"...and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," Ephesians 2:6
In following the posts where I started this series in Ephesians this verse tells me that God has risen me up out of the muck and mire the old sin nature and allowed me to sit in heavenly places with Christ and other Christians. I am set apart for His use.

Now, I think one of the important parts here is the together. He has raised all of those who have trusted in Him out of that mire. No one person is better than anyone else, we are all the same on a level playing field, and we are together.

There are other places in the Bible where it speaks of each of us being part of the body of Christ. We are His hands, His feet, His voice, and every other part that could be used to further His kingdom. The hand can not work by itself to do anything, it needs the arm. The feet can go nowhere without the leg, and the voice can not speak with out the lungs to provide air, we are all in this together equally.

I think many times as Christians we forget this. We tend to push out on our own without waiting for help or a support system. Even just having people praying for the endeavors we undertake in the name of God is important. Moses needed Joshua and Caleb to hold his arms up while the battle was being waged if Israel was going to be victorious, and so we need each other if we are going to further the kingdom of God.

Lord, help me to be a team player. Help me to pray for others and seek out prayer from others. Help me to be willing to ask for help when I need it and to help others when I can. Thank you Lord for my fellow Christians, help us to sit together in heavenly places and work to further your kingdom.

The Drawing:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

GRACE

The Quote:
"even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)," Ephesians 2:5
Grace in the Merriam-Webster in this context is - unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration and sanctification; special favor; temporary exemption... I have always heard in church that it is unmerited favor. I don't believe that the grace God gives is temporary in anyway, it is everlasting, and I for one do not deserve it.

God in His love for us has bound the darkness of who we really are in our flesh and hidden it away through His grace. I have said this before and I have to say it again, He sees a clean slate that has been washed by the blood when He looks at our lives. Yes, I have sinned since I asked Jesus to wash me white, and I may or may not have confessed those sins I have committed since then. Yet the grace of God through Jesus makes me clean in God's eyes. That does not give me the freedom to go out an do anything I want to do, even though I could and still get to heaven. It does give me the freedom to be alive in Christ and to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God.

I am so glad that the grace of God has bound the darkness that is me and made me whole. I pray that everyday I will seek to share that grace and the love that God has shown me with others. Lord, thank-you for your endless grace and love.

The Drawing:

Friday, October 25, 2013

LOVED

The Quote:
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us," ~Ephesians 2:4

In the last post I used Ephesians 2:1-4, in those verses it spoke about how God has made us alive out of our trespasses and sins, if we are Christians.  Then there is a list of the way we used to live, the ways that we were children of wrath and conducted ourselves in the lust and desires of our flesh. Yet God made us alive....

The verse today tells me that even though I have that sin nature and I have continued to sin even after having received Christ's gift of salvation, God has mercy on me and I am Loved. It does not matter what anyone has done, or will do, God loves them. He is rich in mercy. He love has no bounds. I do not deserve any of the love I get from Him. His love is unconditional.

Many people want to put rules on how we get to be loved by God. They tell us that we have to be good enough, or go to church every time the doors are open. They say God can only love you if you give to Him, and if you are living a sinless life. These verses prove that that is not the case. He loves us even when we do all the things we know we aren't supposed to do, and yes it hurts Him when we do them and we should try to live a life that is pleasing to Him. He does not love us any less when we fall. We are LOVED.

Lord thank you for loving me even though I can never be good enough to deserve it. Your love is unconditional yet because of it I long to live for you. Help me Lord to return your love by loving others. Thank you!

The Drawing:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

ALIVE

The Quote:

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of  the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." Ephesians 2:1-3


Some months ago I was challenged to look at Ephesians and see myself as God sees me, who I am in him verse by verse. I did do this when asked and have decided to do it here for the next few post or so. I know that the above quote is more than one verse, it is one thought... It speaks to who I was and who I am now.

I was a sinner, the day I was born that is who I was, yes I believe that children are pure, there comes a time when they are accountable for the right and wrong actions that they make. That does not negate the fact that we are all born with a sin nature. As a result of that sin nature we are already dead. As we grow we either turn from that nature and strive to live a life pleasing to God or we continue on head strong in the natural person we are. No one is perfect and I can not go a day, hour, probably even a minute with out sin creeping into my life, whether it be a negative thought, an unkind word, or a lustful look.

The good part is because I have made Christ the Lord of my life, God no longer see a person dead in their sins, He sees a person alive in Christ, covered by the blood of the cross. So even though I still sin He sees the blood, and my life in Christ. Does it hurt Him when I "fall" and give in to the lusts of this world, YES! I should strive to reject the sinful nature and the thoughts that Satan sends my way to draw me away from my God. I need to try to live a perfect life even though it is an impossible task. God doesn't want perfection, He wants willingness, with the right motivations.

Lord, help me to remember who I am in you. I am ALIVE! I am no longer bound by my sins unless I let them bind me. You have given me freedom, I long to live in that freedom for you.

The Drawing:

Monday, October 21, 2013

MOTIVES

The Quote:
"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts." Proverbs 21:2
As I have said many time, I read in Proverbs everyday, so today was Proverbs 21. I have read the verse above many times and yet today it stood out. Maybe it is because of the things I am struggling with and the things I am studying outside of my time in Proverbs, whatever the reason this stood out today.

We all have things we wish to accomplish and do for ourselves and for the Lord, this verse speaks to motives we have.  I want to be Godly and work for Him in all that I do, but why? There are many things I do today not really because I want God to be happy with me but because it is expected. God knows when I am doing something out of obligation instead of out of worship to Him. And maybe doing those things out of obligation might help me to eventually do them out of habit which will free me up to do it as worship, I doubt it though.

Motives are a strong factor in the way things are perceived. God weighs our hearts, He will take anything we do "for Him" but He knows our motives and if they are not right and just is will count as nothing "for us". The next verse in Proverbs says "To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." It does not matter how much time we sacrifice, how much money, or any other thing we see as a sacrifice to the Lord, if we do it out of obligation, without a right and just heart, it was for nothing.

It is hard to do all things to the glory of God, self gets in the way. Lord, I pray that I can work on my motives and attitudes for the things I do in your name. The things I do to worship you, whatever it may be!

The Drawing:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

GO

Lately, I have really been pondering the things God may have for me to do. I believe that He has a purpose for all living creatures and I want to do His will in my life. So as I meditated on that today I ran across the Keith Green Memorial video... all I can say is wow! It would have been so awesome to see this man in person. He hit the nail right on the head. Jesus' last command to His followers was to GO! He even told them where and how far....

The Quote:
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ~ Acts 1:8
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even unto the ends of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

It all starts in the heart of the follower but first you have to be just that, a follower! You have to have your heart right with God, you have to believe that Jesus died for your sins and is alive in heaven today! Then if you really want to be a follower of Christ, you have to have a heart that longs to be a "Jesus Freak" for lack of a better term. When you have that I believe you can't help but reach out to those around you, to draw them closer to Christ.... You start small, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your school, your community, your city, your state, I think you get the picture. It starts in you and grows. If Christ is the Savior and Lord of your life then you should wish to be His follower.

Now that does not mean that everyone that is a follower will be called to a far away land. We all have a job to do, we are Christ's hands and feet. We are His arms that hug the hurting, His voice that comforts the grieving, and His ears that listen to the ones crying out. There are those right here where we live everyday that need Him. Your mission field may be in your own house, your school, or your place of employment. He will work through you if you let Him. Are you willing? I AM!

Lord, please give me a heart that pleases you and longs to do your will. Help me to reach out to those around me and if you are willing for me to go to the ends of the earth, I am willing. For now help me be your hands, your ears, and your voice to those right here. Thank-you you Lord for the opportunity to serve you.

The Drawing:  Today, I have entered a Challenge for a Zentangle Card Swap at Tiffany Tangles. Since it had a heart in the center and that is where this post really begins is in the center of the believer.... I will use it for this Post :)


Friday, October 18, 2013

FIND IT

Yesterday Morning I was looking through some of the suggested videos from YouTube before work and this song "Help Me Find It" by Sidewalk Prophets was there. It was a song that I needed, God is so good to always provide what I need when I need it.

The Quote:
"If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone"

I want to be willing to go anywhere God leads me to go and to be still when he wants me to be still. I want to do His will and want Him to help me find what it is He wants me to do. The question is how do I do that?

The Bible says to "Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10 God is wanting us to talk time from the busyness of our day and be still, to feel His presence and to know He is right there by us helping us to be all He wants us to be. In those times the still small voice of the Holy Spirit can speak to our spirit and guide us. We aren't meant to spend all of our time in the secret listening to God, because then we would not be able to do His will. He needs people to go out and lead others to Him. We can actively listen to Him during the day also, but being mindful of His word, His Spirit, and His presence. Pray without ceasing it says in I Thessalonians 5:17, when we try to accomplish that we will feel Him in our lives.

I want to go anywhere He wants me to go. I went to Croatia isn't that enough? Not for me... I want to minister anywhere He has for me to go, even if it is just right next door. In Acts 1:8, He said to be "Witnesses to Me, in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  There is a progression in those verses from the local area, the country area, and then to the whole earth. We are His hands, we are His feet, we must go. God will use our willingness in fact that is what he wants.

More often than not I do bring fear and doubt to God about the things He seems to want me to do. I worry and fret over whether or not I am good enough, strong enough, and smart enough, He didn't say I needed to be any of those. He doesn't want me in the way at all really, I can't be good enough, strong enough, or smart enough for without Him I am nothing. He just said to step out, to be willing, to put my faith in Him, He would do it through me, He would give me His strength.

Lord, help me to be willing to serve you everyday of my life. Help me to listen to your spirit so I can be guided to the things you have for me to do. Thank-you for your guiding hand and your love.

The Drawing:

Friday, October 11, 2013

ALLOW

A Conversation with a friend....

Me: Good Morning
Friend: Good Morning, it is a beautiful day.
Me: It is going to be a beautiful day, even if Satan has the audacity to hurl a few darts your way it will remain a beautiful day.
Friend: well now...
Me: It is the truth, God made the day beautiful and if you or I allow Satan to take that from us then it is our fault, right!

I needed that conversation as much as my friend did....

It is a shame that so often we do allow Satan to come in and steal the glorious things God has sent our way. We blame Satan but we are really to blame for giving him the right to take it. We allow him to get his foot in the door and try to let him be the scapegoat when we are the ones to blame.

So how do we allow that to happen? What is the cause of God's wonders being pushed to the side? I think it has a lot to do with SELF and not being as committed as we should be to our walk with the Lord.

"Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." I Peter 5:8

We have to be Sober, the dictionary says this means to have an earnestly thoughtful character. We are to be vigilant, carefully noticing problems or signs of danger. We have to watch out to be alert, we can't give into the devil or self one little bit... giving him just one atom of our thoughts, actions, or lives is enough for him to have a hold on us.

II Corinthians 10:5 "casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"

This verse tells us that those things that exalt themselves are contrary to knowing God, and in the next part thoughts are spoken of. That is where Pride starts in the mind, God is telling us we need to make sure our thoughts are not proud and are focused on Him and His word. When I don't stay focused on God and what His word says, and who he says I am in Him, then I am allowing Satan in to "ruin" my beautiful day.

Lord, thank you for my friends and the conversations we have. Many times you show me your truths through those times spent with them. Lord help me to take to heart everything I have written here. I know I allow Satan control way too often. Give me strength Lord to take my thoughts captive and give my life to you!

The Quote:
"One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived." ~Niccolo Machiavelli
The Drawing:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WANTED

The Quote:
"...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." ~Luke 9:23

Jesus wants anyone, and that means anyone. If we all waited till we were good enough, cleaned up, and perfect, we will never be able to do anything for God. Jesus didn't go to those who we the smartest, the cleanest, or the richest. When He came to earth he came to some of the lowest people in the world, Shepherds. The rich had to seek Him out... the wise men came from far a land.

Even when Jesus started His ministry as an adult He didn't go to the most educated, wealthy, or the king in His palace. He went to John the Baptist to be baptized, to a bunch of fishermen, a tax-collector, and other unsavory types to be His followers. He wanted the religious leaders to join in with Him, and He tried to seek them out too. They just thought they knew better than this man who liked to hang-out with those they thought were "unholy".

Jesus wanted anyone.... He said anyone one could follow Him, no matter your faults, failures, and insecurities. He just said, desire to follow... forget about yourself and your problems... take up your cross daily... and follow Him... The most interesting part of this call to me is the daily part. Christ was letting us know that we would have to make a conscience decision everyday to follow Him. He knew there would be days we might not want to follow, to carry the burden of the cross with us wherever we went. To be open and compassionate with those we met. I don't believe that Jesus always felt like being the Messiah, I think in the flesh He might have longed for a day off. Yet He continued on to show us that we have it in us to do that also.

He wants us to come as we are even when we don't feel like we should or that He will accept us. Those insecurities and feelings of less than adequate are exactly the kind of attitudes he wants, those that don't think they are worthy are those He can mold into the people He can use. Unlike the religious leaders, the rich, and the smart who thought they knew more than He did. It is the desire that will set us apart.

In opening this post, I almost said wanted not dead but alive.... then I thought, in another passage of the Bible it says, we should be dead to sin, and alive in Christ... (Romans 6) And it also says in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." So the wanted poster could have read Wanted Anyone DEAD and ALIVE!

Thank you Lord for this truth that you will take anyone in anyway and use them for your glory. I pray that my life I will live for you Dead and Alive, taking up the cross DAILY even when I don't really feel like it. Help me Lord to be who you want me to be use my failures, faults, and insecurities for your Good!

The Drawing:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

GET OUT OF THE WAY

Today, my pastor was preaching about Moses. The idea in the message was that Moses wanted to do something great for God. He knew there was a reason for his life to be spared as a baby, he was special in all the Pharaoh's kingdom, because he was possible the only male heir to that throne. He knew he was an Israelite, one of God's chosen people. So he figured he was supposed to do something great for God. And he did many many years after he tried to do it on his own. Moses needed to wait for God. In order for anyone to do something great for God we first need God to do something great in us. God had not finished teaching Moses yet, so Moses had to spend some time away from Egypt. One of the last statements my pastor said was this "To do something great for God, you have to get out of the way."

I do not think my pastor had the Casting Crowns Monologue from "What this World Needs" but that is what it made me think of. The words are my Digital drawing and quote today. I have heard people bash this song for what they think the words say... I think it is simply saying this:

1. To many times we get in the way of people understanding the Gospel message with all of our rules and regulations. OUR you have to do this or that....

2. Jesus is the only way to God and Heaven we can not pray anyone there, we can not pay the price, or drag them in with us. We are not the only way people will see Jesus, yes we may be the only Bible some people read... That should be a humbling and scary thought not a self-inflating thought.

3. The world does not need to get dressed up, or down to know God, They don't have to be a certain denomination or read a certain Bible. There is another part of the song that says "What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside, have we become so blind that we can't see God's got to change their heart before He changes their shirt."

4. We try to often to add to what the Bible (the Gospel) says brings people to God. In doing so we are putting ourselves in HIS story.... that is slowing it down...

5. Jesus is going to save the world.... WE NEED TO GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Now that last part... our SELF needs to get out of the way. We can not save the world... God is willing to use us to do a great work for Him, we need to be passionate and filled with compassion, allowing HIM to work through us! He is not able to do that until we are out of the way!

Lord thanks for the message today and in this song. I pray that you can use me, even though I know I am not always the best Bible for people to read. I pray that you will get me out of the way and take over. Thanks Lord!

The Quote and Drawing:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

RIGHT

Today, I was reading in "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman I am finally on the last chapter. It is a very good book... In this chapter he quoted Donald Whitney as saying "If a person is wrong about being right with God, then ultimately it doesn't matter if he or she is right about anything." He is speaking to being right as in walking down the narrow road that few tread, the one Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7:13-14. And I believe that is true, if a person has not truly made Jesus Lord of their life to a point that there is a change in their walk (life), ultimately every thing else is of no consequence. It really doesn't matter what they do in life they are on the path of destruction.

This holds true for a person who is a believer also. Having the path correct and being right with regards to where you spend eternity is one thing.... the hard part of staying on the path is completely different. That takes a daily commitment, a conscience effort. I have to admit that I so often do not have it in me to stay on the path. That is when I do one of two things; I either continue the way I am and mess up royally or I start praying and don't stop. The only way I can make it through days like that is to have Jesus on my mind and in my heart. I still fail all too often. I do not want to be just a fan, I want to be a follower... I want to take up my cross and follow Jesus everyday, yet the weight is almost to heavy at times. Guess what though, I can do it with Jesus' help and he will not allow anything to break me!

I am sorry I have not written this like I should, I have like I said been dealing with some issues. Those are not going, but I am going to not let them keep me from this anymore if I can.

Lord, thank-you for being there for me and for anyone who will reach out to you. Please help me to be right with you in my daily walk since I know who you are as my Lord and Savior. Lord, you know the issues I am having and I pray now for your guidance, thank-you for all you do for me.

The Quote:
"If a person is wrong about being right with God, then ultimately it doesn't matter if he or she is right about anything." ~Donald Whitney
The Drawing:


I drew this on the 27th of September but I didn't post.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

POST

It has been a while since I posted... not really a word a day when I don't post everyday is it.... please forgive me... I may or may not ... post again... I am working through some things... please pray for me... thanks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SEEK

The Drawing:
The seek list is at the bottom.
The Quote:
"Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest with either be supplied or its loss will not be felt." ~Francis Bacon
Seek.... God tells to seek Him. "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!" I Chronicles 16:11 This verse is repeated in Psalms. We should diligently seek God every minute of everyday, do we? I don't, just being honest. I get in the way! I start seeking other less important  things to make my life "better". God is all I really need, yet I want more. So what things can I do to help me seek God more, and things less? I say it all the time, pray more, read my bible more, help others, realize that what I do have GOD has given me, and on and on....

Lord, help me to seek you in all that I do, whether I working or playing, studying your word or praying to you, wake or asleep. Lord, be the reason I do everything I do. Thank you Lord for being my God!

The List:
apple   bird   book   camera   celery   cup of coffee
cupcake   egg   guitar  high heel   ice cream   key
kite   leaf   letter   lollipop   mask   money   pencil
ring   ruler   sheriff star   smiling sun   soccer ball
spaghetti   stamp   tennis shoe
tooth brush   t-shirt   valentine   yellow flower

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PRAYER

The Drawing and the Quote!


I made a digital drawing today, not really a drawing, but it is a graphic. This prayer comes from the youth Sunday school material that I use to teach the youth. They have many prayers like this through the lessons, but this one stood out for me, and I hope my students will use it also.

So what is this prayer saying? What makes it so special? Mostly this prayer is about the person praying, being willing to pray this prayer and do these things!

First, it praises God for being good, perfect, the giver of life and true. Just as the Lord's Prayer (the model prayer Jesus gave us) does, we should always praise God for who He is.

Next the person praying the prayer is asking for help to know God better. We can know God better through our quite times, through reading God's word, and through listening to our pastors in church. And God can help us know Him better through other means also. He can send people our way, speak to us through the Holy Spirit, or even through trials and troubles we face. God is every where and can use anything to make Himself known to us. We have to be willing for Him to do it.

Next, the person praying is proclaiming a desire to walk in God's way, to live by God's standards (rules). They acknowledge that it is hard to do this on our own and that the good news is that they don't have too. God is right there with them and will help them.

Then they seek transformation, so that they can live by God's rules.

They pronounce they are ready to make decisions based on God's truth (the bible) and stand up for what is right even when the world around them is falling to pieces and going the other direction. They declare they can NOT do it on their own. They seek to be transformed by God. They seek Him to help them.

Romans 12: 1-2 says; "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present you bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."  

I think that the person who wrote this prayer had these verses in their minds and I believe that if we seek God first in all we do that he will give us the desires of our hearts. It is my desire to live this life for God, I am willing to pray this prayer everyday! I hope that my students and many of you will join me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MOTHER

Yesterday was a wonderful day as I remembered the life that God gave me to nurture and guide in my child. Today, I remember my mother, who 24 years ago passed away at too young of an age. She was 51 and my daughter had just turned 1 the day before.

My mother was not always someone I looked to for guidance or comfort; as it is sometimes with daughters and mothers relationships can be strained. Don't take that the wrong way, I loved my mother and I longed for a close relationship with her. There were a lot of obstacles to that relationship flourishing. Much of that was my fault. So now she is gone and I miss her.

My mother and I were on different wave lengths regarding spiritual matters. I believe that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose again to sit at the right hand of the Father.  My mother believed that also. I believe that salvation is eternal, that everlasting means everlasting, once you believe what is mentioned above and ask Jesus to remove all your sins and be Lord of your life you are going to heaven and nothing can take that away from you, NOTHING! If it can be taken away then John 3:16 and the rest of the bible is a lie! My mother did not believe that salvation is eternal, she believed that every time you sinned you lost your right to go to heaven. I tried many times to talk to my mother about this, and it always ended up with me hurt and her upset. She always said right before I die I will pray for salvation, not before.

Now, I am not saying I am her judge for I can NOT KNOW her heart.... My mother went into the hospital for some test, within a day or two was in a coma, and soon after passed away. Do I believe she was able to ask God for the salvation she wanted, I don't know, I truly hope so. I hope that when I get to heaven I will see her and we will have the relationship then that we should have had here on earth.

I said all of this in this blog for a few reasons: 1) I am missing my mother today. 2) If there is one of you my friends and readers that has not talked to Jesus and told Him you believe everything He did, and asked Him to clean you of your sins, securing your place in heaven, please do so today! 3) to let every one I know and those I don't know that Salvation is eternal, no one can ever take that way from you and you can do nothing to get it on your own, Jesus is the only way. and 4) That earthly relationships between parents and children, friends and loved ones matter here on this earth, you never know what you have until it is taken away, Cherish every moment.

Lord, thank you for the time I had with my mother even though we did not make the most of it. I pray that her story will help others to realize how much relationships here and with you are important, That once they are in your hand NO ONE can take them out! Thank you for the salvation you have given me. I love you Lord and I love my Mom!

The Quote:
"I love you Mom!" ~Me
The Drawing: I have one picture that I love of my Mother. I use it quite a lot when I post things about her. So today will be no different...  My Mother and My Daughter a few days after Caryn was born.



Saturday, September 14, 2013

CARYN

It has been a quarter of a century a wonderful journey with many mountains, hills, valleys, and wide open spaces. On this day 25 years ago at about 6 am my beautiful daughter was born. I was not expecting to have such a joy in my life. Yet God gave me this wonderful gift and I have cherished her from day one.  Since the day I knew I was going to have a baby the child was in my heart, my mind, and was my life. I wanted a boy, I decided not to find out what I was having before she was born. The doctor told me the very first day I saw him, sounds like a girl's heart beat if I ever heard one. He was right and I am glad.

Our life together has never been easy. I should have known that my beautiful daughter would be head strong and independent from the very first day she came into this world; 31 hours of intense labor should have been the warning. It has she and I since that time. Don't get me wrong there have been people in our lives that have helped us along and some that had good
intentions; for the most part it was just us. That may have been more of a burden to her, because her most faithful playmate, confidant, and friend was her mother. She was more of an adult than a child growing up, always polite and respectful to others, and she demanded the same. Many people think that we are "joined at the hip" that is not exactly true. She is and always has been very independent. That independence is one of the things I like the most about her, even when it can also be a downfall.

So, today I have some words I want to say to her, and I say them here because may be someone else may need them also.

Caryn, you know that the golden rule has always been important to me; I taught it to you from birth, never forget to put others head of yourself and you will come out ahead in the long run. Be yourself, God made you the way you are for a purpose, I believe He has you in His loving care, always has had and always will. Whatever you seek to do do all to honor that God and purpose He has for you. You are his, He loaned you to me, I have tried to teach you all you need to know to make it in this world, remember.  Remember I have loved you from the day you were given to me; through the 31 hours of labor, all the bad times and the good ones, all the happiness and sadness. I loved you every time I kissed you good night and everyday when I pray for you, I will love you with all I have till the day I take my last breath and when that day comes I will love you and be waiting for you in Heaven.

Lord, please bless my daughter in all that she does, Help her to be the person you want her to be, You made her independent, beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful guide her in using all you have given her. Thank you for letting her be part of my life for these 25 years and for many, many more to come, Lord!

The Quote:
"Happy Birthday, I love you more than these words can say!" ~ Me
The Drawing:

Friday, September 13, 2013

GOLD

When I decided on this word a verse popped into my head so that will be the basis of this blog....
"And Peter said, Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Acts 3:6
Peter and John had been in the temple for prayers. A man who was crippled all his life was in the temple asking for offerings. He saw Peter and John and asked them for some money. Peter told him to look upon them. In my mind Peter is saying look at us, I believe if it had been today Peter would have pulled his pockets inside out and then said the verse above. Peter gave the man all he could give him, and it really it wasn't him doing the giving, it was Jesus.

Silver and Gold I do not have either. Such as I have a will give anyone. Now, I am not saying I can heal someone, far from it, my faith is not big enough.... If it were believe me people would be being healed left and right. I can pray for people, I can share the material things I do have. I can listen. All I have is what Jesus has given me and He gave all He had, why should I do any less.

There is one thing I long for everyone in the world to have; I wish everyone had eternal life. Jesus is the only one that can give that to you. All I can do is tell you Jesus Loves you, He died for You! He would love for you to know Him as I know Him. God is my Father, Jesus is my Savior, I may not have silver and gold to share, I know who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and you can too.

Lord, help me to share your love with those around me. Forgive me for not being faithful enough to do as Peter did. Help to share what I can. Forgive me when my actions are not what they should be, help me to be your workmanship.

The Quote:
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver." ~Mahatma Gandhi

The Drawing:



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BUSY

The Quote:
"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?" ~Henry David Thoreau 
I have been busy... now the question in my mind is was what I was busy at more important than writing this blog. In some ways yes and some no. Part of the time I could not think of a word to write about. I was working some also. Yesterday, I spent the day at a Youth Summit, that was fun and work, I drew most of today's drawing there and finished it today. By the time I arrived home I was tired and only wanted to unwind, blogging was not on my mind.

Now, here is the other question I have... in all that busyness was I doing anything that was pleasing to my Lord?  I wonder how much of that time spent being busy was helping further the work of God. I do not believe that God doesn't expect us to have down time; He even rested a day. We would be of no use to Him if we worked and stressed ourselves out. Yet, how much of the past few days have I really put an effort into being busy for God! I am ashamed to say not as much as I think I should have. This blog is part of my ministry for God and an outlet for me. I have neglected a big portion of this since I have been back to work. I keep saying I am going to do better... and I don't. I need to continue to do the work I told myself I would do...

Lord, help me to use my time wisely. Help me to remember that in my busyness I need to remember to be busy for you. Help me to do whatever I am doing to the honor and glory of you!

The Drawing:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

MAČKA

Mačka is Croatian for cat. Today, I have been fussing over what word to use again. And I finally chose this one for a number of reasons. First, my cat wanted in my lap earlier and I took her picture....


Then I posted it on Facebook, where a number of people told me I needed to pick her up... because I had said I wasn't. I hold her when I am not in the middle of other things. After that a friend of mine from Croatia saw that picture and all of the other pictures in that album and started like them all, it was very comical to me. I had wanted to ask some one what they said to call a cat in Croatia. I know most cats ignore people but... You know we would say to the cat, "here kitty, kitty, kitty..."  So I asked my friend. I already knew the word for cat was Mačka... she said they say "Mačka, Mačka, Mačka..." (Pronounced mach ka) I am so glad that while I was in Croatia I didn't try getting a cats attention... I would have looked really silly saying, "here kitty, kitty, kitty..." To the people and especially the cat :)

The Quote:
"MEOW" ~ I-10 my cat
The Drawing:

Friday, September 6, 2013

COMMAND

The Quote:
"My son, keep your father's commands, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep they will keep you; and when you awake they will speak with you. For a commandment is a lamp, and a law is a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,  ~Proverbs 6:20-23
Today, as I was reading my Bible, I saw these verses, I loved what was being said, mostly because as a parent I wonder how much I taught my child will stick. The Bible says, "to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is OLD he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) This leads me to believe that no matter how much we want our children not to stray from the correct path, the path we taught them, they will, it is human nature. Just like children of God wander far from him at times.

As parents we are to have commands and rules. We don't have to have a lot of them, Jesus only had two, on those two all the others had their foundation. We have rules or boundaries because we love our children. The our children have two things to do. First, to bind them on their heart, make them stick to their life, memorize them. The second thing they have to do is tie them around their necks. Maybe Solomon's children had a necklace of sorts that they wore that reminded them who they were and how they should act. I think that is a great idea, a reminder to our children of who they are and how they should act, it doesn't have to be a necklace, it could be a card in their lunch that says I love you, or a hug in the morning before they leave for school.

Solomon goes on to say that commands and laws will do some things for us. First they will lead us on our paths when we roam, Strong's concordance says this word means to travel,to walk, depart, wander. The Websters dictionary says to to wander without direction, but then it also says to travel purposely... I believe this can mean in either case the commands will guide us, whether we are far from where we should be or on the correct path. Solomon goes on to say that when we sleep they will keep us. We teach our children to pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep...." Having the commands and laws in our heart and around our necks will keep us. Solomon then says that when we awake, could this mean come to our senses?  The commands will speak with us, they will remind us who we are and were we should be.

The commandments are lamps that light the way, the law is a light that shines in the darkness, and reproof through instruction is the way of life. Without a lamp to light the way, a light to shine where evil can hide and instruction for life we can not progress. This is true for our children and for the child of God.

Lord, Help me to live the commands and laws you have set forth for us all, to Love you with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as I love myself. I thank you that if I live these then everything else will fall into place and if I do stray I have them to lead me back. To keep me when I sleep, and to speak with me when I come to my senses. Thank-you God!

The Drawing:



Thursday, September 5, 2013

NADA

Ok.... here in America we say this to mean, nothing... as in "I have nada to talk about today." I really did have nothing to say then I thought... Hey a friend Croatia is named Nada, there her name means HOPE, so why don't I write about her instead of nothing because she is definitely something :)  She can work on reading English in the process :)

Nada was in the level 2 class in Karlovac. She is an accomplish artist, you can see her some of her work on her Angel Art Page. She is a very sweet and kind person. She seems to truly care for people, she also loves nature. She loves God and life, she has a joyful disposition and tries to inspire HOPE in those she meets.  I am so glad that I was able to get to know her.

Nada, thank-you for coming to the English course. You are a wonderful person! I hope I get to see you and ALL of my friends in Croatia again soon.

Lord, please bless Nada in all she undertakes and continue to make yourself known in her life. Thank-you for allowing me the pleasure of getting to know her. Lord, bless all of my friends in Croatia and here at home. Let your love pour out on all of them.

The Quote:
"Where there is life, there is hope." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Drawing:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

STRUGGLE

Leaving this here because it is part of the blog..... I have a lot to say today about this word and I will get to it as soon as I get back from all I have to do this evening... I was looking for quotes earlier and then I went to Facebook and POW... Billy Graham had a status about Life struggles... so his status is my quote... I promise to get back to this later this evening....

So we all struggle daily with various issues. Some may be small, some could be large. We have decisions to make and fences to mend. Life is a struggle as Billy Graham and countless others have said. We need to remember that while we struggle there is an unseen battle raging, our struggles could help us in that unseen battle.

It does not matter if you are a Christian or not, the battle still rages on for your life. The rulers of darkness either have control of your life or they want control back. God either has control of your life or is fighting desperately to keep it. How we deal with the struggles that come our way may determine who wins the battle. As a Christian, God and his spiritual army fight to keep me from the forces of Satan. Satan tries everyday to tempt me and cause me to turn from my Father. The battle rages on in the spiritual realm, and even though I do not see it, I feel the effects. I know that when I am moving away from God, Satan and his forces are winning that battle. When I give in to fear, loneliness, depression, and many others, Satan has the upper hand. The times when I am praying, reading my bible, singing praises, being joyful, and loving to be near my God, He has the battle won.

It is not always easy to be close to God for whatever reason, and if you aren't a Christian then God has to work twice as hard to win the battle for your soul. I am glad of this one thing.... I know there are spiritual battles raging around me at all times, and I will have to struggle in this life because of them... but God has already won the WAR! In the end God will be Victorious and my struggles will be over! I am so glad of that fact!

Thank-you Lord for fighting the spiritual battles for me, and for having already won the War. Help me to be mindful of the darts and arrows that come through from that battle aimed at causing me to stumble, and fall away from you. Guide me through each struggle I face and help me be all you want me to be.

The Quote:
"All life is a struggle. That is the nature of things. A battle is raging in the Spiritual Realm. 'We fight," the Bible says, 'against the rulers of the darkness of this world." ~Billy Graham
The Drawing:


Monday, September 2, 2013

LOVE

The Quote:
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is Love." 1 John 4:7-9
The Drawing:

I have been a little distracted lately and have either vented my feelings or not written at all in this blog. I am human, because I am I do have feelings, emotions that get in the way of the important things. Not that this blog is important other than to let me have a say even when no one may be listening... Sorry I have missed a day anyway :)

Last night a young man spoke at our church. He was our pastor's son, and he is a very good speaker as his father is. He spoke of Jesus' compassion for people. In Matthew 9:36, Jesus was moved with compassion for the multitudes of people who were there with Him. As the speaker pointed out they had all been healed already and they were not hungry. What was left for Jesus to feel so much compassion for, he took care of all their needs right? He had met their physical needs because that was what they wanted, they were still a people longing for a guide, they had not seen Jesus in that way yet and He was moved with compassion. They still needed His love, they needed people just like them to show them His love.

John was one of the disciples that was there that day when Jesus had such great compassion for the people. I have no idea if John totally understood at that time the magnitude of Jesus' love, at some point he did because he wrote about it in his letters. He understood that if Jesus loved us enough to die for us that we should be filled with that love and let it pour out to others. Compassion for others is the Love of God. God is Love and without Love we are lost and good for nothing. I believe that where love abounds, love grows and spreads.

Sometimes it is hard to show love to others for any number of reasons. There are times when I just don't feel like letting the children hug me at school, or smiling. It isn't that the compassion isn't there, it is always, it is that I am being selfish and depressed. Sometimes, I succeed at forcing myself to let the kids hug me or smile; then I realize that made my day a little brighter. At times I don't succeed and my day stays dreary. I need to try and let Love abound everyday.

Lord, give me the strength to use the compassion I have to Love those around me in the way that you would have me too. Without Love we are nothing, for you are Love. Thank you Lord for Loving me!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

TIRED

I am tired of many things... today I want to get some of that off my back so just bare with me....

I am tired of being left out. I get accused of not being friendly, and not wanting to join in when really that is not the case. I want to join and I try to be friendly all the time. I often offer to help people out even when I have other things I need to do. I invite people to do things with me, too. Mostly, I would love just to be able to do stuff with my "friends". I go almost every where alone and that gets tiresome. I go to eat on Sundays with people but now I believe that they are just tolerating me or they feel like it is an obligation they have to fulfill. After what I experienced today I think I will stop going on Sundays to eat and stop trying to do anything with anyone. I am tired of being lonely but I am more tired of being hurt! I think being alone hurts less...

I am tired of being told I am mean or hateful. I am not! I have a shell that I let few in, that doesn't make me mean, it makes me sheltered. I am trying to break those walls, yet when things happen like they have today, it makes me put the shell pieces back up and hide again. I love all people, I have said this many times there is not one person in the world I can say I do not love, I might not like someone but I love everyone. The wall is now up and I am sad... I have worked hard to break it down as much as I have. I wonder if it is worth the trouble.

So, now I have vented, I am sure it makes no sense... that is ok... I am just tired.... mostly of being me! Because mostly this is all my own fault!

Lord, help me not to let what has happened to effect my relationship with you or change who I am becoming. I need to just move passed it as I usually do and not let it bother me. I am sure the persons involved don't even know they did anything to upset me. It is all ok, I will just need to work on trying to be your friend instead of trying to look for friends here. Thanks for being here for me Lord.

The Quote:
"We can be tired, weary, and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength." ~Charles Stanley
The Drawing:


Thursday, August 29, 2013

UNIQUE

Yesterday I said that in our differences we find our uniqueness. I believe this to be true. No 2 people are exactly alike, not even identical twins. We are all different in some way.

In this world you will never find two snowflakes exactly alike and an artist no matter how much they try can not produce 2 works of art exactly alike. Even is something if molded there is always a subtle difference.

So what makes you different? What makes you unique? What have you been given in your character or abilities that make you standout? These are questions I guess we all need to ask at some point in life. If we are a christian that uniqueness is something God will want to use to further His work on earth through you.

Many people think that in order to work for the Lord or to be an asset to God's Kingdom they have to have a super awesome talent or an ability that no one else has. They think they have to be able to sing like an angel, or speak with the eloquence of a great orator. They have to have a heart bigger that anyone else or pockets deeper than Trumps. That could not be further from the truth. God wants us to be unique in the way He has made us unique, we may only able to make a joyful "noise", or be able to only give $5.00 or less. The smallest talent, the smallest gift is BIG in the eyes of God if it is given and used with the right motives, rather with no motive at all, other than to please Him.

If all you have to give is a hug or a prayer, do it. Never think that your uniqueness is not special just because someone else does something better. If you use it to honor God, He will use it to grow His Kingdom. Let God use your uniqueness for His work here on earth.

Lord, thank-you for the uniqueness you have given to every person on earth. I know sometimes I have a hard time excepting that you can use my uniqueness in any way. Then I remember you can do anything you want to do. Help me Lord to be willing to use all you have given me to honor and glorify you!

The Quote:
"I believe that every person has uniqueness, something that nobody else has." ~Michael Schenker
The Drawing:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CHALLENGE

I have this person in my life who often gives me challenges for various reasons. Today, as we talked, they did that again, and I am not really sure of the reason for this one.... This challenge I told them I would not do, yet here I am doing it, even though I am not sure how to go about it.

I believe I have spoken about spiritual gifts a few times here. God has given us all gifts to use to further His story, His kingdom, and to give Him glory. Everyone can not have the same gift, if they did the world would be a rather strange place. Think about that really... What if every tree was a pine tree, every flower a rose, or the sky was always over cast? What if every person could be an artist, a singer, or a mathematician? God made differences for a reason and in those differences we find our uniqueness.

So the challenge was to talk about my spiritual gifts. If anyone knows me well, they know I do not like to talk about myself. I may vent, or talk about experiences, but I never really talk about who I am. There are many reasons for that and those will stay unsaid. I am finding this hard to do....

I have said before that I am a very hard person to get to know and my past has a lot to do with that. God has given me a gift that is so not in line with who I have allowed myself to become, because of past experiences. One gift He has given me is compassion or mercy, and I know that many people who know me in person are think right now.... um NO! Like I said the outward me has a hard shell and a hard time letting the spiritual me show itself. God is working on that, as I am.

Sometimes, I wonder why God chose to give me this gift, why not administration since I am such a "hard" person to get to know and sometimes rough toward people. And right now I just thought of the reason, because He knew that with all that I have been through in my life, I would have to have compassion for others to make it through the rest of it. It is compassion that draws me to people, the ones that are hurting just like me, the ones that need a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on and someone that will be there when others won't. My compassion is not always outward either, but I can tell you now, if you have asked for prayer, or even look like you need prayer, whether I said I would pray or not... I have. I don't do this in my power because I can't, God has given me this compassion and I praise Him for it, even when it hurts me. There are times I wish I could walk by someone who is hurting, lonely, or needy and feel nothing.... It just does not happen, and I am glad.

My other spiritual gift is teaching. Even though I am not good at writing this blog or getting the point across in a way everyone can understand, this is a form of teaching. I teach as my profession and I teach in Sunday School. It is not in my power that I do anything I do, it is in God's. If I am doing it in my power then it is for nothing, I hope that I am doing it with God and for Him.

Well, I am not sure if this is what you, my challenging friend, expected.... I did what I felt in my heart. Even though I said I wouldn't... Thanks for pushing me.

Lord, thank-you for friends who challenge us, and for gifts that compel us to do work for you. Thank-you for giving me the gift of compassion even though many times it leaves me raw and vulnerable, which I do not like. You knew that I would need compassion for a reason, your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts. Thank-you!

The Quote: I could not find
a quote that conveyed the idea of this blog... but here is something I thought of...
Because of the love and compassion the people of Whoville had for each other... the Grinch's Heart grew 3 sizes... just imagine what compassion can do in real life... 
"And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day." ~ Dr. Suess
The Drawing:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FAITHFUL

I have debated over the word for this entry today, I think that I have found it, although willingness has a lot to do with the subject also. Since this is the word in the quote I will use it.

Faithful... may not be exactly what we expect in this passage of the bible. In Matthew 25 verses 14 - 30 Jesus tells the parable of the Talents. It basically goes like this, There was a man who was going away and left his household and business in the hands of his servants. He gave them each a portion to take care of and help grow according to the abilities he thought each had. So to one he gave 5 talents, to another 2, and to the last 1. While he was gone the one with 5 talents increased those by 5, the one with 2 also increased his by 2, and the last buried his in fear of having nothing when the master returned. So when the Master returned The two that had increased their talents were praised and told that because they were faithful with little he would make them masters of many. The other of course was called a lazy servant and told to depart from him. Now I know that I told the story a little different and Jesus was talking about working for the Kingdom of God. I will be too in a way.

God gives us all what He thinks we can handle. He sends help in ways that we may not see as helpful. The thing is that we have to be willing (there is that word) to step out with what he has provided (even if we think we need more) being a faithful servant in that small thing before He can give us more. If we are faithful in what we are given He will give us more. We have to be willing to start small, we can't expect to graduate from High School and become president of a major company over night. It is possible, but not probable. How many people have started at the bottom and worked their way up the ladder of success, even in the ministry.

There is another story that will illustrate this a bit too....

There was a man stranded in the middle of the ocean. The ship he was on had sunk, all he had was the clothes on his back and a deflating life preserver. So helpless and alone he called out to God, "God, please bring me a miracle! Rescue me! Send your angels to save me! Get me out of here!" No more than 5 minutes later a boat came by and offered him help. He refused, "I don't need your boat, God is going to rescue me." About 30 minutes later helicopter hovered over him and offered him a rope ladder. He also told them, "No thanks, God is going to rescue me!" An hour went by, he could see in the distance a little island, he turn and started swimming back out to the middle of the ocean, thinking "I don't want to be on an island, God is going to save me!" Shortly after this the man drown and was in heaven. He was very angry, so when he saw God he asked Him, "God, I prayed for you to save me, why didn't you?" God looked at him and said, I sent you a boat, a helicopter, and an island! Why didn't you use them?"

Many times we hold out for the grand miracle like angels swooping down and fixing all of our problems. God sent the man in the story 3 angels, they were just not the angels the man expected or wanted. We have to be willing and faithful enough to except the small things God sends our way to help us in this life. We may need transportation, we want a car, he sends us a bike. We may need need a place to live, we want our own house, he sends us a bed in someone's house. God sends us what we can handle, and as we are faithful (and willing to take it) in the little He then gives us more.

Lord, help me to be faithful with the things you have given me. Help me to be willing to use those until you think I am ready for more. I want to be like the servant who had 5 talents and increased them by 5. Thank-you Lord for all you have given me.

The Quote:
"His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." ~Matthew 25:21
The Drawing:


Monday, August 26, 2013

EXPERIMENT

It is amazing where I get my inspiration for this blog sometimes. A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook today....
I remember when posters and commercials had the same type of slogan that had to do with drugs. We could make this about anything. I of course did experiment with art, and even though I am not very good at it I love to be creative.  There are so many things that kids should experiment with, things that in the long run may help keep them from the negative influences of peer pressure and drugs. It isn't a promise but it can not hurt to give them the opportunity.

Kids should have the chance to experience sports, all kinds of sports. Someone may not be good at football, but awesome at soccer. Swimming might be just the right thing for another kid. There are so many active inside and outside activities that we all should try. I love tennis and basketball, I can no longer play them. I can shoot a basket ever now and then but any running can not be done.

Some kids don't like sports, or can not play for one reason or another. That does not mean there is nothing for them to do or experiment with. I had some of my students a few years ago make movies in my class. Many of them had fun, and a few seemed to really like it. I hope that those movies might have sparked a longing for them, that they have and will enjoy for years to come.

Photography is another area. I love photography and again I am not very good at it, but it gives me pleasure to frame a picture to capture a moment or scene. This is something I have done with my students also. I give them cameras and let them be the school photographers. I hope that will spark an interest in some of them.

I have allowed my students the opportunity to complete hand drawn art pieces and digital art. I see everyday the ones that I know have a desire to be creative.

As parents it is our job to nurture our children and see that they get a good education. I feel it is also our job to help them experience the things they enjoy in life without criticism or harsh words. What we say to or around our children will make or break their spirit. Even as adults our words can cause their spirits to diminish toward a goal. We need to encourage, even if that thing is not the thing we want them to do, not everyone can be a Doctor or Lawyer. The world would be a really sad place if we were.

There is one more thing that kids need to experiment with, well not really experiment but enjoy. That is a life lived for Jesus. The best thing I tried was Church, Faith, and God. It lead me to salvation and eternal life. Because I experimented by putting myself in church, I have a better life now. If you have not tried going to church, and spending time alone with God, maybe now is the time you did. You will be amazed at the things that will happen in your life if only you put yourself in His hands.

Lord, thank you for the ability to experiment. I think if we did not have the chance to try things in this world if we were all robots or puppets we would be a very unhappy bunch of people. You loved us enough to allow us choice, I pray that I make the right choices from now on and that those reading this blog will too.

The Quote:
"How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?" ~Henry David Thoreau
The Drawing:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

OUTSIDE

As I have stated in a previous blog I have been reading "not a fan" by Kyle Idleman. This book is a good one so far (slow reader here) I would recommend it based on the chapters I have read so far. This chapter has to do with the "sermon" Jesus is preaching in Matthew 23. I have always thought of these verses as just talking to a particular group of people, now I know and believe it is talking to everyone, all of us, for we all fall into this at some point or another. Maybe more than once. 

Jesus is in Jerusalem teaching as the Sadducees and Pharisees are standing around listening trying to find a cause to bring Him to court. Jesus knows their hearts and the hearts of every person there, remember Judas would have been standing there too. He was still apart of the 12 disciples at this point, he probably had not even had a thought of betraying Jesus yet. Jesus tells the people in the group to consider the scribes and Pharisees and how they seat in the seat of Moses and uphold the laws. And in the very first few sentences Jesus says, they tell you what to observe and do, but they do not do it. They were telling the people to love, worship, and honor, God in all that they do, yet they themselves were doing it only to be looked on with authority, and to get the best that they could here on earth. They did the things they did for the praise of man, and not to honor God. How many times do we do the things we do to be appreciated, to get recognition, and to honor ourselves? 

Now fast forward to the verses in the quote (Matthew 23:25-26), Jesus uses an analogy that every person in the world can understand. We all have utensils we use to eat with. We want those to be clean, but what if we only cleaned the outside so that people would "think" it was clean. Would we want to let someone use a cup like that? Jesus told the people that the Saduccees and Pharisees were like cups that had been cleaned up on the outside, but on the inside they were dirty. On the inside they had not taken care of business and they were not ready to meet their maker. Jesus told them to clean the inside first and the outside would take care of itself in the process. 

It is the same in our lives. Many time we try to make it look good to the people around us. We go to church, we sing in the choir, we give offerings, and we even volunteer, yet all the while that outward appearance is not what is really on the inside. On the inside we hide pride, unforgiveness, selfish ambitions, lust, and many other sins. Jesus said if we would clean those up, then everything else would fall into place. Is it an easy task, no! Can we do it? NO, not by ourselves, we need to allow Jesus to help us. With Him everything is possible. 

Lord, I am not totally clean on the inside and I know that, I have issues I need to deal with and get out of the way so that my whole vessel can be clean for you. Lord, please help me clean my cup up, so you can fill it to over flowing with all you have to give me. Thank-you Lord for your grace and mercy.

The Quote:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside nay be clean also. ~Matthew 23:25-26
The Drawing: