Joyful Friday ~Practice, Patience, Practice

Last year, I started painting again. Only this time I’m working with watercolor as opposed to oils. It started with sketches and drawings and then one day I noticed a watercolor painting and thought I’d give it a shot. After all it couldn’t be that hard right? Not as easy as I first thought. I started sketching what I wanted to paint to help me get a better feel for the painting. I tend to be harder on myself than I should be. (Some days I think I prefer my drawings over the paintings but that’s because I need to practice.) I’ll draw or paint something and I’ll ask my husband what he thinks of it. He can tell me it looks good and I’ll say something critical about it. He’s always reminding me not to be so hard on myself. He has encouraged me to take art lessons but I’ve declined ~ call me chicken~ no, truth is I’ve found some people on ~ yep, YouTube ~ that I follow and I have learned quite a bit. I find myself noticing things more often and I’ll say “God, teach me how to paint that”. I mean, He is after all the Master and His masterpieces are breathtakingly amazing. Take you for instance, you are His masterpiece and you were uniquely designed by Him for Him.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:13,14

One thing that is a given, practice. You have to practice if you want to improve. Patience. That’s something else you have to remember. Patience. It takes time to develop your talent. It takes time to improve your skills. I’ve had this particular post sitting on the shelf since mid March. At first I put it down to blogger’s block. Then recently while reading a devotional from Intouch Ministries, I had one of those “aha” moments.

Just as it takes practice and patience to learn a craft, if we really want to discover who God is through His Word, it takes practice and patience on our part. There are three things we need to do. Meditate. As we meditate on His word, we learn about who He is. Study. Studying His word gives us a better understanding of our Lord. Pray. Through meditation and study, our prayers are our response to what we learn about God. As we learn more about God our prayers will overflow into praise, gratitude, and petitions that align with His will. (Intouch Ministries paraphrased)

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.

Psalm 119:15,16
Practice and late nights. 🙂

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

2 Peter 3:18

God bless!

Happy Friday ~ The Ring

With love, Mom

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful week. It has been an interesting week. I want to share something that happened to me this week. Once upon a time….(Kidding! So not writing a children’s book!😄)

Years ago, my mother received the opened heart shaped ring above. Not long after my son was born, during one of our visits home to see her, she asked if I like the ring. I said yes and she gave it to me. She said “You’re a mom now, I want you to have it.” I asked if she was sure and she said yes, so I accepted it and wore it for a few years. This week I decided to wear my “mom’s jewelry” things that she had given to me throughout the years. I put on my earrings, put on my “mom” ring, and off to work I went. The ring didn’t fit on my ring finger, but it did fit on my pinky finger albeit a tad loosely. I thought I’ll be careful and it should be alright.

Walking to the mailbox at church to send off some mail, walking through the church building, sitting at my desk working. I did all theses things and managed to keep my ring on. As I sat at my desk working, I didn’t give it a thought. It was later on when I went to wash my hands that I noticed it missing. I thought, NO, not my ring from my mother! I’ve had this ring for over 23 years! I retraced my steps, I went to the mailbox, walked through the building, checked my laptop bag, checked my purse, but all to no avail. It was gone. I had lost the ring. The whole time I was praying asking the Lord to help me find the ring. I backtrack again all the while praying and talking to the Lord. I’m telling Him that it wasn’t the ring itself, but it was the sentiment, it had come from my mom. I tell Him that I know I shouldn’t be worried about material things but…it was a gift from my mom. I ask if it were possible, could I find it. Then I’m saying “I know its stupid to worry about it, it’s just a ring, but my mom gave it to me, if it is possible can I please find it. Please show me.” So I retrace my steps once more, still no ring, so I start going through my laptop bag taking stuff out one at time. No ring. I go through my purse taking everything out, and there at the bottom tucked in a corner, lay my ring.

I started crying, thanking, and praising the Lord. And I sat in awe of the magnitude of finding my ring. It wasn’t the fact that I found it. But what it meant to find it. Of how much I am loved and because He cares so much, He showed me where to find it. I thought about what that meant to me to lose a ring that had sentimental value, to find it, and in that moment, I thought about how far Jesus goes to find His lost sheep. He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t say I give up. He keeps searching until He finds them.

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

Luke 15:4

Jesus says in Matthew…

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Have you had a similar experience where you asked the Lord to help you locate something and He has? How did it make you feel? I’d love to hear about your experience.

God bless and have a wonderful weekend.

I’m Waiting…

Have you ever shared something with someone and before you could finish speaking they interrupt you by talking over you to tell you something that they or a family member did was better? Or maybe you’ve walked up on a group of people standing around talking and it was as though each person had a better story to share, a better item, or their child did such and such and well, you get the idea. I can remember walking up on a group of people talking all at once trying to make themselves heard and of course no one could hear what the other people were saying.

I wonder. How does God feel when He is talking to us, and we interrupt Him talking over Him, and simply not listen to what He is saying? I can almost envision Him rubbing His chin deep in thought and then stepping back holding up His hands and saying something like okay when your ready to listen, I’ll be over here waiting for you and then He steps back. I can almost see the Lord strolling by stopping next to His Father, waiting with Him as He prays for us, interceding on our behalf. Can you hear the Father sighing and Jesus responding with a light chuckle saying something like You did send Me to save them and God replying with a remark similar to this…I did and I love them dearly but do they realize they’re acting like children? Can you hear the deep belly laughter as Jesus agrees and continues to intercede?

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

John 17:9

Jesus goes on to say in verse 20

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word

John 17:20

That’s you and me! If Jesus was willing to die for us because God asked Him to do this one thing that we might have a relationship with Him; and Jesus did it out of obedience to His loving Father, shouldn’t we stop and listen to what the Father is saying to us? To grow and mature and not stay as children? I can almost see the smile as His children pause and run back to Him saying…Forgive me for not listening to You earlier, please teach me, tell me what You want me to know. I pray you will take the time to stop and really listen to what God has to say to you. God bless!

Innocent Distractions

It started out innocently enough.

It started out innocently enough. Looking through YouTube videos I happened upon watercolor tutorials. I had been in search of videos that would teach me how to sketch better. It was a great idea except I became distracted and lost sight of the prize. Now there is nothing wrong with watching videos to learn how to do things but it’s the time spent watching and doing, that can become the problem. Realizing my lack of discipline I decided I wanted to learn to listen to God better. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned. Instead of listening, I became even more distracted when I happened upon a watercolor video about making homemade Christmas cards. So I started to make them.

I became so focused on making the cards that I lost sight of spending time with the Father. So much for listening. I was doing the right things, praying, doing devotionals but I wasn’t spending the quality time with God that He deserves.

As I thought about that, I realized that the whole time I was wanting to hear from God, He was trying to speak but I wasn’t stopping long enough or being still long enough for me to hear Him. You know, kind of like that person who asks you a question and moves on to the next question or topic before you can answer them. That was me. I wanted more of Him but I wasn’t waiting for Him to speak, instead I was moving to the next topic. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that? Can you imagine if He did? Maybe that’s why He has so many teachings on what we our relationship with Him should be like so we could use that role model to have that kind of relationship with others. Why He took time give examples for us to follow.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:12,13

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Colossians 3:14

God bless!

Faith Healed You, Go In Peace

The woman with the issue of blood. Put yourself in her place. You’ve spent all that you had on medical advice and yet no one is able to help. You’re in debt up to your eyeballs and about to lose your house. You hear about this Man who can heal anyone and you think, you’ve nothing to lose and if you can get close enough just to touch even His coat then you can be healed. That is, if what you hear is true. But you have nothing to lose so why not check out where this Man is going to be next. You happen to overhear a conversation and learn that He is passing by any minute so you begin to search the crowd for signs of this Man. There! There He is and He’s going to be passing by in front of you. You see Him and the look on His face is so loving, so caring that you allow yourself to be swept up by the moving crowd.

You begin easing your way through the crowd determined to get near to Him. You get shoved from behind and stumble but not before seeing Him pass by. No! You silently scream as you scramble to gain your footing. But with your illness you’re slow to react and soon He is moving on getting further away. In a desperate attempt to get close, you push your way into the crowd and suddenly you see His back. One last shove and you stumble again this time your fingers grasping the air and then…you feel your fingers brush the coattails of His coat and immediately you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are healed. You feel energized, ready to tackle the world until you hear “Who is the one who touched Me?” Busted. He had stopped so quickly and turned to face the people behind Him, you barely managed to get out of the way.

“I did it. I touched your cloak.” You say. His eyes fill with compassion for you as He says “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” You knew you were healed when you touched His cloak, you felt the healing power flowing through. But His words touch you and confirm that you are healed.

Can you feel it? Can you feel the love and compassion flowing through Christ? Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jarius, an official of the synagogue and yet He stopped and spoke to this woman. Jesus affirmed what this woman confessed, that when she touched His cloak she was immediately healed. Jesus said her faith made her well and to go in peace. In other words, don’t be afraid. You chose to believe and by faith you followed through which led to your healing. I can’t help but to wonder why Jesus said to go in peace. Was it for her benefit or that of the people surrounding them? Was it to keep the people from trying to harass her after He was gone? Maybe He didn’t want her to feel embarrassed over running after Him to heal her. He wants us to run after Him. He wants us to seek Him, to find Him, to follow after Him, and to share the Good News with others.

The enemy digs, pokes, pushes, invades, and doesn’t give up when he has made it his mission to turn as many people away from the Father as he can before his time of reigning comes to an end. He already knows that he has lost the battle. He already knows that when it is finished, he will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone but before that happens, he is going to take as many as he can with him.

The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.

John 10:10

The devil will do everything in his power to put a wedge between you and God. If we were to dig, poke, push, invade, and not give up on the mission of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, imagine how many people we can reach for the Father. The enemy wants you to fear and tremble; God wants you to be bold and courageous. Which do you choose? God bless.