Posts Tagged ‘Christian’
My One Word for 2014 is Leap. It’s all about leaping to find my writing voice in the blog. Leap and trust His plan. Leap and plant Small Seeds.
Have the guts to leap.
I have been refocusing on that word lately. This week’s Bible study of Ephesians 3 screams of leaping.
At times I feel a lot like Paul who confessed he felt he was “…writing about things that are way over my head…” (Ephesians 3:11-12 MSG)
Do you ever feel that way? To have an idea but feel completely unprepared and overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do next? In situations like this, you have one of two choices. You can do nothing, which will get you nowhere closer to your dream, or you can take a leap of faith and do something. Anything.
“When we trust in him, we’re FREE to say whatever needs to be said, BOLD to go whatever we need to go.” (Emphasis in all caps are mine.) Ephesians 3:11-12 MSG
And then I think of Dr. Phil. He often says, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Weird, I know. But, Dr. Phil, like Paul, was on to something big.
Here we are in Ephesians, a letter written by Paul. Paul was once Saul, the go-to Christian persecutor of his day. Like us, Paul didn’t know what he didn’t know. God used him in a way he never thought possible. I think, at times, Paul even has trouble believing it himself.
God turned a persecutor into a crusader. (Galatians 1:13)
In his own words, Paul felt he was over his head when speaking about Christ. But, get this, Paul took a leap of faith. He leaped with his heart. He leaped and trusted God. He spoke, even if he didn’t know it all, yet. He said what he needed to say anyway.
He spoke FREE and BOLD.
“God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever image or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Ephesians 3:20 MSG
I guess Paul knew more than he thought…
This Sunday my prayer for you, the one on the verge of taking a leap of faith, in the words of Paul, is this:
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 MSG
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DaySpring’s annual Customer Appreciation Sale is going on now thru July 18th! Everything at DaySpring.com is 25% off with the coupon THANKS25, including Clearance! (I am an affilate with DaySpring. If you click on the link I may be paid enough to buy a Latte but not enough to buy a pony.)
LINKING UP | at MyFreshlyBrewedLife.
May your weekend be filled with little surprises that delight and bring you joy.
The Good Morning Girls are starting a free Easter Bible Study tomorrow. It’s entitled Why Easter Matters. All printed materials are FREE (provided you subscribe to their blog), and it is only 4 weeks long.
“…we can’t think of a better time to make it a priority to stay in God’s Word, and focus your hearts on the One who died in our place, for our sins.”
DISPLAY YOUR FAITH IN YOUR HOME | New designs in the SHOP today. Now you can print your Christian artwork prints on metal! Metal prints are a sheet of lightweight aluminum that is literally infused with the chosen artwork creating a sharp and vibrant finish and supplied ready to immediately hang. They also appear to be floating on you wall. So cool!
I start typing this today by taking a deep breath because I have something huge hanging on my heart.
(Background Photo Source.)
So, what does your life book look like? Yeah, I don’t know what mine looks like either. Just taking it one day at a time, sister.
This past Sunday’s sermon at our church got me thinking about that, again. The sermon was focused on our OLW, “MADE”. (Yeah, our church chose a One Little Word for 2014. How cool is that?)
This year, as a church community, its been all about being MADE in His image. Being MADE to do more, be more, for Him and because of Him. Yesterday our pastor focused on followers of Christ being MADE to make disciples. Like Simon Peter.
I think to myself, I am not Peter. Peter was the rock on which Jesus built his church.
I am in a funk. Ugh. Anxiety and worry about little stuff has got me feeling down. It’s nothing that won’t work out on its own. But, still. I can’t shake this funk. Anyone out there feeling the same?
 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life?  And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.  So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own,. Sufficient for each day is its own troubles. [Matthew 6:27-28, 34]
Yeah, just let those words wash over you.
Henri, you speak the truth.
My oldest daughter gets frustrated when creating art. The watercolors aren’t laying on the paper right; the paint is too think; it isn’t working out the way she envisioned. I tell her that art is not perfect. It’s not meant to be. Art school taught me this. She will not listen to any of it! She struggles with the limited medium; she struggles with her need to be perfect in whatever art she is doing.
Art is a lot like life. It’s messy, it’s never perfect, and it’s limited depending on how we view ourselves, which is at the very essence our “medium”. If we view ourselves as “not good enough” or “not ready” for the next step we will fight the ourselves, the medium. And, our art will be left unfinished.
Do you get the picture I am painting here?
Another great artist was Vincent Van Gogh. Do you think Van Gogh was happy with his masterpiece “Starry Night”? Did you know it was painted from memory of his nightly view outside of his sanitarium room window at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence? I don’t know about you, but if I was in an Asylum, experiencing incapacitating panic attacks, I would be feeling pretty down about myself. I don’t know if I would think I could create something so beautiful. But he did. He didn’t let a hospital room confine, or define, him. He found inspiration right where he was in that moment of his life. Outside his window looking at the heavens.
It does me good to do what’s difficult, ” Van Gogh wrote, “That doesn’t stop me having a tremendous need for, shall I say the word—for religion—so I go outside at night to paint the stars.”
LIE #1: You are not good enough.
You’re not a good mother; a good wife; a good employee; a good friend. You’re not pretty enough; thin enough; rich enough. You are a screw up, worthless, and not worth loving. We’ve all repeated hateful words like these to ourselves at one time or another. The enemy is just waiting for you to plant the seed of doubt so he can confirm our secret fears. He will use TV, magazines, the Internet, even your loved ones to confirm those fears. He is sneaky that way.
Do you believe in God, or do you believe God? And, yes, there is a difference.
Many Christians I know, myself included, are really good at believing in God.
We do the church-thing. We cling to our Bibles every Sunday. We sit in the pews, we stand, we sing, we tithe, we say, “Amen”. We drink ceremonious wine in little plastic cups. We wear the cross (and I love my crosses). We donated soup cans, coats, shoes, Christmas presents to those in need. We try to lead “good Christian” lives. And, we uttered the phrase, “God works in mysterious ways,” when speaking of things we can’t explain.
Can I get an Amen?
But, is it enough just to believe in God?
Is that enough for me? For you?
Is that enough for Him?
Although I feel I have faith, that is the name of this blog after all, I do not fully believe God.
Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Early church experiences gone wrong, prayers unanswered, heart-ache unburdened, bad things that cannot be explained away by, “everything happens for a reason”. Whatever.
All I know is, I want more from my faith.
Airing on A&E Wednesday nights, Duck Dynasty is a reality show that follows the antics of a fun loving bearded Louisiana duck call mogul family. The Robertson’s, looking more like a ZZ Top cover band than the millionaires that they are, have a huge fan following.
The numbers don’t lie. This season’s premiere of Duck Dynasty was the most watched non-fiction series in cable television history with 11.8 million viewers.
And, my kids love it!
Most reality shows on TV today are mind-numbing-train-wreck-of-girls-behaving-badly-stab-you-in-the-back-scream-in-your-face-at-high-octives-and-profanity-laced programming. (Think Dance Moms, Real Housewives, anything Kardashian.)
Okay, full disclosure here. My little guilty pleasure is the original Real Housewives of OC, and it’s really just for “research” to see how the other half lives and thinks. (wink) But, I don’t want my kids watching it!
So, why would I love that my girls love a reality show? (Seriously? Didn’t you at least chuckle at that video above?)
- I don’t need to have a long discussion about inappropriate or lewd behavior. It’s not your typical reality show as stated above. Actually, they call it a “docu-style sitcom”, and it’s film more like a sitcom.
- They value family. The Robertson family loves one another. They bicker without holding a grudge. They tease without meanness in their heart. They irritate without screaming and dropping the f-bomb every other sentence.
- They are funny. Scripted, or not, this family, with their Southern charm and sharp wit, is laugh-out-load funny.
- The show has a counter-cultural message with its Christian family values, traditional gender roles, and mutual respect for each other, and their spouses. There is no profanity, no twerking, and no cat-fights. They end each show thanking God for what He has done for them while sitting around the dinner table. Jase Robertson’s personal motto: “God. Family. Ducks. In that order.”
- It’s a rags to riches story. From dirt poor, addictions, humble beginnings of making duck calls in the backyard shed to running a successful family business, filming a wildly popular TV show, writing books, and managing lucrative merchandising deals. Don’t believe me about the merchandising? Just take a trip to Walmart sometime. It’s the American dream. If these guys can make it big by making, of all things, duck calls, then so can I.
- They eat squirrel and frog legs. My inner Missouri country girl smiles.
- They are authentic. They claim the show is only “scripted” in the sense that the producers put the Robertson family in situations just to sit back and see how it plays out. It’s long been reported that these guys can be difficult — refusing to recite lines, or go along with a story line – instead they say what they please. And honestly, I don’t care. I am in it for the message.
All this makes for a “Happy, Happy, Happy” Wednesday night in our house.
I have been offering my designs and photography for sale over at Redbubble for a few months now. Gettin’ my feet wet. There is no sweeter email than one that has a subject line of: You Have A Sale.
The most popular design in my shop:
I’ve been working to add more typography inspired designs to my shop, such as…
Now that I have done a little shameless plug for my Redbubble shop, can I ask for one more thing?
Our cal-de-sac needs your prayers. Hubby is going in for back surgery on the 19th, my best girlfriend is having a double mastectomy on the 14th, our neighbor’s kid is having neck surgery this week, and my other neighbor is having nerve problems in her leg and arm which the doctors can’t figure out why. What a cal-de-sac we make! God bless.
Linking up with The 36th Avenue.
I was asked (again) last week, “What do you want to do when you ‘grow up’?” Now that is a loaded question.
Since I left the printing industry in May to stay home with the kids, I have asked myself that same question. I want to do something involving photography…but what exactly? I haven’t nailed that down yet. I know better what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to be a wedding or portrait photographer.
Nature, landscape, insect photography is what my heart wants. Okay, so I do know what I want, but now what?
I have been researching, and taking workshops and classes hoping (praying) it would come to me, like in a vision or a light bulb being turned on.
Enter Redbubble. Have you heard of it?
“Redbubble is quite simply the finest and most diverse creative community and marketplace on the interlink. There, we said it. With artists and designers hailing from every corner of the globe, displaying eye opening talent, skill, passion and enthusiasm for all forms of creativity there really is no better place for you to get your artistic kicks.”
So, here I am on Rebubble, diving in head first!
Redbubble offers all sorts of products including note cards, matted prints, just prints, framed prints, canvas, posters, calendars, t-shirts, iPhone & iPad cases, and stickers from highly talented photographers, illustrators and digital artists.
Of course, I can’t deny my graphic designer instincts. I designed these t-shirt and hoodies with 2 of my favorite Bible verses. Each will be available in 4 different contemporary colors.
Or, how about an iPhone case? Yep, I have designed those too!
So, you know, if you need to do some holiday shopping…head on over and check it out. Let me know what you think too! I will be adding more photos soon.