|Photo by kyasarin @ pixabay.com|
|Photo by thawats
We have been studying the early stories in the Bible and my goodness, it is a bunch of failure and heartbreak. Things seem so hopeless and yet, God does something amazing in each and every situation to redeem the person and/or situation.
So often we feel like a failure in life. We aren’t successful in our jobs. Marriages are crumbling. Children don’t seem to have a relationship with the Lord. Relationships are broken. Sin has overtaken us. But there is hope. There is always hope.
We need to look back at those people of faith in the beginning of time. Adam and Eve – the very first family- totally messed up and broke the one rule God had. And then later their son murdered their other son. Abraham and Sarah lied to the rulers of the land because of their fear. Jacob was a deceiver and had a totally dysfunctional family. Moses was a murderer and later let pride get in the way of seeing the promised land.
What do we do when we feel like a failure? When you feel hopeless, what should you do?
You love God, the very one who loves you no matter what.
Listen to the great Jewish Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
This isn’t a pep talk. It isn’t a formula to be successful in life. It isn’t even a set of standards to live up to. It’s an encouragement to just love your God. To be in His presence. To soak up His essences and become like Him. To be in communion with Him, continually. He wants so much to be in a relationship with you and share all that He has for you.
So turn your attention to the Lord. Love Him. Love him with all that you are.
This is our true ID….our imprint. We have His stamp on our lives because we love Him. We leave a mark….His mark…on the world when we love Him, because His love is powerful. His love is strong. His love makes us brave.
Love God and love others. This is your True ID.
***Thanks to John Ketchersid for another great sermon 10/11/15.
When I chose BRAVE as my One Word of 2015, I had no idea the path of bravery would take me into a closer walk with the Lord and lead me toward freedom in a way I’ve never experienced before. Sure, I’ve done a couple of brave things this year. I’m in a new job. I started an Etsy shop. I began sharing my artistic attempts online. I said yes to things I would have said no to before, just so I could say that I was being brave.
But what I am finding is that God is orchestrating a path into a sweet communion with Him through all this bravery. You see, bravery is not really being brave. It’s being scared silly, yet taking the step to do it any because you know Who has your back and Who will catch you if you fall. It’s about being okay with failure and enjoying the process in spite of the failure. It’s about holding the Hand of God while leaping out of the boat, trusting that He can make you stand firm, knowing He loves you and has a great plan for your life.
I’m so excited to be alive in this year of Jubilee and cannot what to see what all God has in store. It is going to be a year of growth, bravery, solitude, and freedom….and so much more, I’m sure.
Have a blessed Monday!
At our family movie night with my parents last week, we watched Cinderella. It is a stunningly beautiful movie with a beautiful message. It’s about a mistreated girl who listened to her dying mother’s last words to be courageous and kind, no matter how hard it was.
Time and time again, Cinderella just swallowed her hurt when her step-mother and step-sisters were cruel: when they wouldn’t let her eat with them; when they called her Cinderella because of the soot on her face; when they took her room and made her live in the attic; and when they tore her mother’s dress apart. Yes, it hurts when others put is down, take advantage of us, or mistreat us.
And sometime it takes great courage to be kind in the face of such hurt.
Our society is big on self-sufficiency and not being treated as a doormat. We applaud those who stand up for themselves and demand their rights instead of letting others walk all over them, but I think that is where the courage part comes in.
It takes courage to face opposition with kindness and to turn the other cheek.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded and show sympathy, love, compassion, and humility to and for each other– not paying back evil with evil or insult with insult, but repaying the bad with a blessing. It was this you were called to do, so that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9
“Even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you will receive a blessing. Don’t let them frighten you. Don’t be intimidated, but exalt Him as Lord in your heart.” 1 Peter 3: 14-15
And inherit a blessing is what Cinderella did! She got the Prince! Not because of how beautiful she looked at the ball. She had already captured the Prince’s heart while wearing rags, and he was smitten by her courageous and kind heart.
Living in kindness takes courage at times, but we are up to the task. We have the Lord on our side and can stand firm in the knowledge that He has our back no matter what. Our courage and kindness brings a smile to His face.
So have courage and be kind today.
You will find blessing indeed.
**I am not condoning any kind of abuse in marriage or in families. That is never okay. While we can be kind in return, it truly does not make it right and we do not have to stay in those types of relationships.**
I attempted more whimsical painting this weekend, this time doing project 2 of the Painting for the Heart Class by Juliette Crane. Being the “rebel” that I am, I wanted to do my own thing, yet learn the new techniques of loose and whimsical painting. The prompt was 3 lions, but I thought it would be fun to do 3 whimsical girls…like sisters.
So that is what I did…and it turned out rather weird. They look a lot like bobble heads, but oh well. I like the way the paint pooled for their lips and their rosy cheeks. That’s my favorite part.
But then I decided to go ahead and try to do the lions in the prompt.I used different paint colors for the background, but really tried to do the lions like Juliette Crane did. I’m happy with them, and feel like I am learning a little about being looser.
Here are a few pictures of the process…
And here are a few pictures of the lions during its creation.
Whimsical painting draws me in for reason. I don’t know if it is just the messiness, the out of proportion at times, the broken rules, the freedom to do whatever, but I love it and I really want to learn how to do it.
So I joined an online class called Painting for the Heart by Juliette Crane. She is excellent. Her first class showed how to do a bunny. I’m not really into animals, but the techniques here really good.
I think one of my favorite things so far is the freedom to paint over whatever it is you don’t like. Before, I lived with whatever I did, not wanting to “waste” all that work I had already done. But last night I painted over the whole bottom half of the bunny’s face because it was just too dark.
Freedom to do whatever.
I love it and can’t wait to try the next project this weekend.
Here’s a few pictures from start to finish.
|Adding painted paper and book pages to cardboard.|
|Painted white on the background.|
|This was the difficult part…had to keep changing and painting
and covering up until I liked it.
|I love finger painting!|
|I squeezed a bottle of distress paint and the whole cap flew
off….and splatted onto my hardwood floor! Yikes!
Though she be afraid, she was brave and stepped out in freedom to be the woman God designed her to be….a woman of faith.