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Archive for November, 2008

Hearing my Mom on the phone go through these ups and downs is awful.  She made us both laugh last night.  I can’t hardly understand her, they have her on medications.  I told her she sounded as high as a kite, she said, yeah, like you!  “Mom!  I don’t do that any more.”  We both laughed but she had to stop, she can’t laugh without it taking her breathe.  Everyday it seems another decision is being made and it’s different from the one before.  

As I was sitting, thinking about what is about to take place over the next several weeks, I realized I had not talked with  God about much.  As always, I took the burden on myself and placed it on my shoulders with everything else I put up there, weighing me down.  Then I heard those words:

Matthew 11:28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

It’s my personality to take it on.  Some of the hardest things I have had to learn is discernment, delegating, humbleness, rest.  I am usually a go getter.  To allow others to help, blesses them and me.  That attitude of if I don’t do it it won’t get done, or done right, is very selfish, prideful small minded.  It’s a ME attitude.  It’s not about me.  That’s even harder to swallow.  Especially when you have been raised and the world tells you it is.  

Just got to hook up with the Most Holy One, hang out, rely on, depend on, trust in Him.

Psalm 91

 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
       will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 

 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, 
       my God, in whom I trust.”

 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare 
       and from the deadly pestilence.

Thank You God, for being my everything.

SIDE NOTE:  So much going on I forgot to take photos of those chairs I worked on, take my word, they look great.  I am working on a big project full of decorative finishes and Trompe L’oeil.  I’ll post later some designs.

Pray and bless someone today!

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**Sigh**

It seems as if it was just yesterday I lost my Dad in Hospice.  Its was 2 years ago this March.  Now I facing the fact that time is drawing near for my Mom.  Got the call over the weekend and I am kinda numb.  We take care of my husbands Mom in our home, so I know how hard it is to care and watch the aging of a parent.  I really don’t want to deal with this right now.  

I noticed that since I got this news, nothing else around me seemed as important.  My entire focus is on her now and all the chaos of this world melts away.  

Take a look at your family.  Be thankful for what you have.  Ask God to come and help you with anything that might be a issue for you or your family.  Find comfort is knowing He has got it all in His hands.

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Artwork completed

These are pictures of a painted floor and glazed walls I recently completed.  Thank You Lord for work! Starting another painting too, I will post progress as it goes.  Check back and read on!

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Artwork to be posted.

I will be posting some pics of artwork I am working on and have completed later today.  I feel like I have been renewed.  I am back in this game.  Only different.  Excited and with anticipation.  What does God got in store for me now.  More stepping stones!

Read on!!

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“Good Morning God, thank You for the peaceful sleep.  What is on the agenda this morning for discussion.”

“Ready are you?”

“Uh, no, not really but I know we must get to it.”

“Ok, read Ezek. 14:4”

 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry.  NIV

Another paragraph out of John Bevere’s book, Drawing Near:

“Bottom line, no matter what form they take, all idols are a source.  They take the place only God deserves.  An idol can serve as your source of happiness, comfort, peace, provision, and so forth.  God says, “You shall not make idols for yourselves” (Lev. 26:1).  We are the ones who make it an idol.  An idol is anything we put before God in our lives.  It is what we love, like, trust, desire, or give our attention to more than the Lord. An idol is what you draw your strength from or give your strength to.  A believer is drawn into idolatry when he allows his heart to be stirred with discontentment and looks for satisfaction outside of God’s will for his life.  Again the bottom line is covetousness.”

More from his book:

“What we must realize is that when we covet something contrary to God’s will for us, God will often give it to us; His answer is according to the idols resident in our heart. Ultimately He does this to recapture our hearts.

The NIV says it like this:  “I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel.”  The Lord desperately desires to draw us back to His heart.  Remember, we are His pursuit, He yearns for us.  Though His desire is that none would stray, He will not be mocked.  His heart is reserved for those who have given theirs completely.  For this reason He seeks to recapture our hearts from any snare of covetousness, which is idolatry, lurking in it.”

See that is exactly what I have been talking about.  It’s so awesome how God can put a book in your hand, in His perfect timing, that moves you closer to Him and His will with understanding.  

I have almost always, even with my strong love for God, been discontent with my life. So I drew strength from desires that I thought would make me happy.  I set myself up to make more money, I built a house, I lost weight, I fixed situations for people, I looked outside for happiness…….I made idols.

“Oh God forgive me!”

“I have, and I do.”

“But God, I keep doing stuff again and again, I might do it again.  Oh geez, my will is just too strong for me.”

“You remember that time you got yourself involved in a sticky situation with a male friend, you knew you were not strong enough to fight off the temptation, you called on Me.  You asked Me to take care of it because you couldn’t on your own. Remember……. I did.”

“Yes, I remember.  I still had to fight off temptation to go around You.”

“You will always have work to do as well, but I will always meet you where You are at.  Just call on Me.”

“I love You God”

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When truth hits you square in the heart, you know it.  I have reading this book, Drawing Near by John Bevere, just at the right time in my life.  My desire to draw nearing to God.  When you pick a book up, get all excited that it might answer your questions, give you a a. b. c. to do list, the key………only to find out it does answer the questions, it does give you the abc’s and it tells you the key.  It’s not what you wanted to hear, it’s not what you what to do, but deep down, you know it’s the truth.  His truth.  You asked for it and He so graciously gave you it.  It’s great that you have not become so hard-hearted that you can’t even see the truth, you can, but what will you do with it?  Who is more important?  What is more important?

In Matthew 16:24 it shows how costly discipleship is.  Jesus tells his disciples, ” If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”  So many people distort this verse in so many ways.  I am even guilty of that at times.  But it is so simple and we complicate it so much.  

I want to draw nearer to Him,  I want Him completely in my life.  But what must I do?  Deny myself?  Deny myself what?  Today He has enlightened me through His word and other books about His word.  Deny those things that press on me, desires for worldly things, desires for love and acceptance and gain and so many other desires.

This is a paragraph out of the book, Drawing Near; chapter: What Hinders True Intimacy?.

You’ll discover when people lack the fear of the Lord, they may call on Him but they gravitate towards fleshly appetites and the flesh is enmity with god, for it is not subject to the will of God (see Rom. 8:5-7). They are disobedient to His desires even thought they call on His name, profess knowing Him, and believe He approves of their behavior.  Their lack of obedience stems from a heart that lacks holy fear; the root of all disobedience, and the misconnect is clothed in the deception of “knowing Jesus.”

I read this and my thought was, “Oh shoot! Is it always going to be this way?   There is so much junk in me that needs cleaning up.  I want to be in His presence.  I want to hear from Him.  I want His will.  But how can I have that and have what I want too?”  You can’t!  Deal with it, I tell myself.  His timing is perfect.  Here I have been asking and longing for Him to guide and direct my steps, all the while He was.  I was the one off track but I wasn’t ready to hear, to really hear Him.  Have I a lack of the fear of Him?  I don’t mean fear as in scared, I mean have I diminished His glory and holiness?  Have I forgotten to revere Him?  Psalm 25:14 The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.  I have, just like John explains in that paragraph above, I have somehow, deep inside, lost the awareness of His awesomeness.  I haven’t however, lost the ability to see my wrong.  Or should I say, I have chosen to listen to that still small voice inside me yearning to put me on the path I so desire.  Only I got to get cleaned up.  He is cleaning the closet out.  Now on the very verge of something big, I see clearly where before I was in a fog of my own desires.

This was a hard paragraph to read and soak in from the same chapter in John’s book:

In Ephesians 5:5, Paul again says a covetous man is an idolater. It is clear that idolatry is defined as covetousness; so let’s define covetousness.  Webster’s defines it as a “strong desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good”.  In prayer I asked the Lord for His definition.  His response was, “Coventousness is the desire for gain.”

I stopped right there.  My heart ached.  Tears fell.  Oh God how have I let this happen?  Why am I so needy?  Why can’t I be satisfied?  “Covetousness is the state we find ourselves in when we’re not content.” (John Bevere)  I had to ask myself, what are you not content with?  Look around, hasn’t the Lord blessed you so much?  That worldly fleshy side of us, my earth woman, wants and wants.  The desire to gain.  Covetousness.  I began to think this through after the initial shock of the truth sunk in.

I have a need of acceptance, a desire of affluence.  So I had to ask myself, “What is your main reason you what to sell these paintings you do?  Sure I have donated a lot of money to great and needy causes, but what’s the motive behind it?  To look good, to make money, what?”  I do what to help people, that’s true in my heart.  But I saw that I wanted other stuff too.  I will sit and daydream about adding on to the house because I feel cramped, fixing the yard just so, having people help me around the house.  I dream of making it big, being noticed for my accomplishments, speaking and helping people.  So what was really the motive?  God’s will for these paintings or mine?  He did give them to me, the visions, He does what people to see them, they are His paintings after all.  But my lack of being content has clouded up His will.  And I seem to have a hard time cleaning it up.  Thank God He will help me.

 I can just hear Him, “You ready?”

 “No, not really.” I say.

 “I think it’s time, I will be right here with you the whole way through, you’ll see, it will be fine.  Do you trust me?”

 “Of course I trust You, haven’t I alwa…….., I mean, yes, I trust You. How do I start, where do I start?”

 “You just did”

As I prayed yesterday morning after acknowledging all this to Him, I began to think of being content.  Today I made a cup off coffee. I have electricity! A coffee pot and water.  I walked up my stairs into my bathroom where it is was warm and out of the weather.  I ran a hot shower.  Hot water and soap and smell good stuff.  I dried my hair, I have hair! Beautiful hair that He gave me.  I put clothes on.  Clean clothes washed in a washer and dryer.  I have a choice of the clothes I want to put on.  Went downstairs and made some toast.  Bread, fresh bread and butter.  I looked outside and saw my studio.  I have a place to paint.  To work.  I have a car.  I can drive.  This continued as I walked outside and began to be so thankful for all the blessings God has given me.  How could I ever want or desire more?  

Easy, I have a spirit woman and a earth woman.  We are in this world and have the battles of this world, but we are not of this world.  My flesh still desires.  I began to question even more things in my heart.  I needed to dig even deeper.   Col. 3:5-6  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  

“There is so much to clean up God”

“There always is, but you are seeing it now arn’t you?”

“Yes, it’s aweful, I am so ashamed, I don’t want to face all of it.”

“You’ll be okay, I promise, stick with Me.  Come on, lets keep going.”

Why do I want to lose weight so bad?  To feel better?  To look good?  To see if I can still attract  attention to myself?  How will I dress myself?  Modestly or slightly seductive?  What has always been behind looking good?  Well, the honest truth is feeling better was just one of the fringe benefits.  Everything else was more true.  Why?  Because I have always been so self conscience. As a young girl I always needed to fit in but never did.  I always tried to be something or someone I wasn’t.  That desire has changed faces as I have gotten older, but it is still the same at the core.  Attention, approval, attraction and what I could do with it.  What happens when I do lose weight? (And I have, but now have put it back on and want to lose it again.)  I got exactly what I wanted.  If I had not been so blind by my own desires I could have seen where God could have taken me.  But no.  Then losing weight lead to another area of discontentment.  Relationships.  More people wanted to be around me, but not all were  ones I should be around.  I was having fun, I thought I deserved it. After all, I have worked so hard, taken care of everyone, done all I could do, it was my turn.  Wasn’t it?

There so much more God and I are going through.  Relationships, marriage, friendships, my body His Temple, tattoos, money…….

If you like to, walk through this journey with me.  Please feel free to comment and share your stories of Truth, your thoughts.

As the morning begins:

“God, there is so much, I don’t think I can do this, it’s too hard.”

“Do you remember my promise?”

“Promise?  Of course I do.”

“Then why the fear?”

“I don’t want to disappoint You.  What if I stumble and fall again?”

“You will stumble again, but you will never disappoint Me.  I am here to pick you up.”

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Amplified Bible  Hebrews 13:5

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Timing is Everything

http://www.biblesociety.ca/free_scriptures/escriptures/ecclesiastes3/ecclesiastes3.html

This puts thing in perspective.

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