“Rebel Heart” This piece was inspired by the song “Rebel Heart” by @lauren_daigle, and is my interpretation of the scripture we find in Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” We all have “Rebel Hearts” - hearts that desperately want to go their own way, although time and time again, God has shown us His goodness, His faithfulness, and His love. Right now Christians all over the world are in a season of “Lent”; a time before Easter when we become not only more aware of the ways we still withhold our stubborn rebel hearts, but of the precious price Jesus paid on the cross to wash them clean. I first painted this heart in crimson signifying my own sinful “Rebel Heart”, and then layered over it in white signifying that same “Rebel Heart” whose sins have now been washed white as snow through the precious shed blood of Christ as He suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead (His resurrection) on Easter Sunday. And we know He is coming back again for His people and to establish a new heavens and a new earth - one with no more sorrow, no more death. Oh what a glorious Day that will be! It doesn’t look at this point that we will be able to gather together to sing our Savior’s praises from the church pews across the world this Easter Sunday as we normally do. But then it didn’t look like Jesus would rise from the dead on Easter Sunday either (to the natural eye). But I do know this: That whether we worship from “our regular” church pews or not, the praises of the saints proclaiming worldwide “He is Risen” will find a way to rise up collectively to heaven anyway come Easter Sunday. I just know they will. We’ve been given too great a gift, purchased at too great a price, for them not to. 🙏🏼❤️ “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ❤️
Crescendo: A musical term meaning to gradually increase in volume. As a noun it means the highest point reached in a gradually increasing sound. This beauty’s name is “Crescendo.” It starts out as a small pink bud and opens slowly until its vivid colors reach the most stunning coral hue on its outside petals. You can almost “hear” its beauty calling louder each day demanding that it be noticed. I’m so glad it called loudest today. I don’t know about you, but I NEED these moments of “God’s extraordinary beauty” every day - but especially these days.
It’s quiet here on my back porch. Except for a few birds singing, neighborhood dogs barking, and a some cars passing on the back road behind our fence, making their way home. Yet, the world is in turmoil. Just a few weeks ago - all seemed quiet. Now we find ourselves in the middle of a Pandemic. I’ve been mostly silent on social media while I went not only into self-isolation, but - time of reflection. I’m wondering what this all means. I’m wondering what God is telling us. I’m wondering what He’s telling ME? And I wondering what He wants me to do at this time, in this place, in the middle of a world-wide Pandemic. I’ve spent quite a few days just curling up in my ABBA Father’s lap and crying just like a heartbroken child. I don’t understand why this is happening, and the magnitude of suffering is much too much for my heart to bear. And I have found that my faith in God does not exempt me from fear. I see it all around me. I smell it. And for good reason. We are facing a global crisis that none of us have ever seen before. And it’s invisible. We aren’t sure where it is hiding - so it’s quite difficult to fight. Neither do we know how long the fight will go on. I’m fighting fear too - I am feeling it on so many levels. My husband works as an RN in a large Hospital here in Mississippi. I don’t know what he will be facing or called to do as this crisis worsens. I am afraid for my children and grandchildren. At times like this, I wish we were “The Waltons” and each night we could call out “Good Night” to each other in rounds like they did until the last light went out. I’m afraid for the future of our country. I afraid for those who will lose their lives, and for those they will leave behind. But most of all, I am afraid for the complacency we all have fallen into. The false sense of security that we are self-reliant and self-sufficient. There are those who don’t know God, and there are those of us who do, but far too often have neglected a deeper relationship with Him, while things of this world enticed our hearts with brightly colored tinsel promising to make us “happy.” (Continued in Comments)
Prayer isn’t a last resort - it’s a first line of defense. How can I pray for you today? Please let me know either in the comments or by DM.
These words from God’s Word spoke to my troubled heart today.....I hope they comfort you as well. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Gen. 1-3 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12 I feel the thick darkness sweeping over our country now, just as it has swept over other countries before hitting our shores. It’s thick and it’s black, and as darkness always does, it seeks to draw us into itself. To engulf us in its grip. To fill us with fear. To tempt us to lose hope. But this darkness is nothing new to God. From the very beginning, before God created the world, His Word tells us that darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said: “Let there be light. AND THERE WAS LIGHT. The Word also tells us that JESUS is the light of the world. That whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness, but will have the LIGHT OF LIFE. Dear friends, darkness is indeed sweeping over the face of the earth - but has been overcome by God’s Word and the suffering, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. During these troubled times, let us remember that the light of Christ is leading our way and WE WILL NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS. In Him, we will always, always, always, have the LIGHT OF LIFE. And so we walk, one step at a time, looking to the light, not the darkness. Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit. Our weakness, made perfect through His strength. The faith to keep walking, a gift in itself or God’s goodness. May we all remember that God’s light overcame the darkness many many ages ago. It overcomes it still. #preachinggospeltomyself
“ By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.” ~Thomas Merton BLUE: 8x10 Abstract Acrylic on Canvas Inspired by @courtseniorart
Taking a pause to drink in the comfort and peace of Psalm 23 today. There is no doubt that we find ourselves in trying circumstances. Emotions are running wild. Fear is running rampant. There is a often a very thin line between living in fear, and exercising wisdom and caution. While I admit that I often miss the mark myself, God in His grace still loves me and leads me as He promises in the words of this familiar Psalm. For that I am so grateful. He never leads me down a path He himself has not gone, nor one where He isn’t there along the way continually guiding me. It can be difficult to decide what to do when we find ourselves facing challenging situations, with no easy answers. While I believe we should look to the authorities for guidance on staying safe, and on making sure we do not put someone else at risk, ultimately our lives are in the hands of Our Shepherd. The Good Shepherd. So, yes - PREPARE: Prayerfully decide what the best course of action is for you and your family. PRAY: Pray for our leaders and decision makers, our health care workers, those in the service industries, your own family, your neighbors, those who are sick or quarantined in our own country, as well as around the globe. BE KIND: Remember, we are in this together. We are all facing this crisis on top of fighting our own personal battles. REACH OUT: Check on your neighbors, especially the sick and elderly. If you are able, offer to pick up supplies they may not be able to go and get on their own. GIVE: Look for ways to help those who may be barely making it paycheck to paycheck. A crisis like this could be catastrophic for them if their workplace closes their doors even for a short time. If you can, open your pocketbooks and wallets and help out someone in need. TRUST: Not just in anyone or anything, but in the ONE who is trustworthy. Our Good Shepherd who faithfully leads us beside still waters, will also faithfully lead us through troubled ones.
“On Becoming” 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱 It doesn’t happen overnight. This miracle of becoming begins small, tiny, encased in a seed, plain, common to all eyes but His. Tossed, buried, driven deep into the ground by strong winds and driving rain. Covered, dormant, but never forgotten. Winter comes; The ground freezes and thaws, freezes and thaws. The seed sinks deeper still, settling within the cold, hard earth. Covered, dormant, but never forgotten, the seed remains hidden, yet carefully guarded, In the cold dark ground, under The Master’s watchful eye. One day, The Master speaks, commanding the sun to rise and bask the ground in its warmth. The time has finally come, proclaims He, for winter to persist no more. Above ground, signs of spring appear. Slowly, subtly, hints of new life begin to make their debut on old, tired, grey, seemingly lifeless branches. And one by one green sprouts begin to dance among the trees............ (To read full post, click on link in bio). 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱 🌱 Many thanks to @samanthacabrerastudio for the honor of sharing my words and thoughts “On Becoming” on the beautiful “Calla Press” blog today. Calla Press features “talented children’s authors, writers, and illustrators, as well as women’s testimonies, photography, and poetry.” Please tag someone in the comments if you think they might be interested in submitting.
I saw this beautiful picture hanging on the wall of a office - and I just had to stop and take a picture of it. It’s such a beautiful reminder to me during this Lenten Season of the Church, of the precious suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Lent gives us a gift - a beautiful gift - a time to not only be more intentional about self-examination, repentance, and denial of our fleshly desires, but to realize anew the forgiveness, hope, and redemption that are ours because of and through Christ’s suffering , death, and resurrection. While we focus now on “The Passion” of Christ, on Easter Sunday, we will gather together from all over the world to celebrate “His Resurrection”. What a glorious day that was in history, and what a glorious Easter Sunday celebration it will be as we proclaim: “He is Risen!” “He is Risen Indeed.” What are some special ways that you observe Lent? I’d love to know if you’d like to share in the comments.