Monday, January 23, 2017
Roses make me smile.
The smell, the colors, the details.
All of it.
I've had many a rose in my garden, but I am no expert. I've also lost many a rose in my garden. So much so, that I don't have any right now. That will change this year. Last year I really missed them mingling amongst the perennials. I have already ordered a couple to be shipped this spring.
There is just something about them that nourishes my soul. Maybe that is because they are such a beautiful piece of God's creative story. He created everything. He thought through everything He created. We are so very blessed by his imagination and His generosity in sharing the beauty in all He has created, especially because everything created is for HIS glory, not ours. I am very humbled.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Worship on Sunday morning is part of my favorite thing about church. I connect deeply with Jesus through song lyrics that deliver the truths found in scripture. The truth of scripture revealed in just a little different format really helps solidify the deeper meaning for me.
Last year when I was really struggling with depression and anxiety, I found that worshiping at home really made a difference in my day. So I began searching for songs that we sing at church that were my favorites and that move me closer to Jesus. I began very shyly at first, only singing when no one else was around. But then I decided that it was ok for the whole household to her me sing. (I do love to sing)
I set up a wireless speaker in my kitchen and would play my playlist from my phone over the speaker about as loud as it would go. I would stand in the sunshine streaming through my kitchen window and lift my face and voice to the Son! I've now added a second speaker to my bedroom so I can sing where ever I am!!
If you have Amazon Prime, you can download lots of music free. If not, songs are usually reasonably priced around $1.29.
Want to see what I'm singing? Here's my playlist:
- How Great Thou Art by Trisha Yearwood
- O Praise the Name by Hillsong Worship
- No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music
- Just Say Jesus by 7eventh Time Down
- Great I Am by Phillips, Craig and Dean
- Your Great Name by Natalie Grant
- Revelation Song by Kari Jobe
- Unstoppable God by Elevation Worship
- Resurrecting by Elevation Worship
- Call Upon the Lord by Elevation Worship
Some days I play it all the way through and others days, depending on how much time I have, I will just pick and choose a few songs that have lyrics that I need to hear that day.
Worship doesn't have to be confined to just a Sunday morning. I find that it completely shapes my mind when I desperately need to be close to my Jesus. Don't have a great singing voice? Who cares! Scripture says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Go for it!!
Do you have songs that you listen to over and over that help uplift your spirits? Share them with us!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Have you ever had one of those days where just everything went wrong? It started off with getting up late, then you spill your coffee, then a child comes down sick....you know...one of THOSE days! Maybe it's a day when you are just silently berating yourself for things that you have been challenged with, that self-talk that puts you down and brings out your worst mood.
I've certainly been there on many an occasion. But I have started to become more aware of the ways that Satan is trying to mess with me. I'm being more conscious of listening to my inner voice and paying attention to slight clues that let me know that Satan is toying with my emotions. Does that happen to you?
Let's start off the day with this statement: "Not today Satan!" Say it out loud. Put him in his place. Remind him you are a child of God and he cannot touch you. Put it on a post it note so you can remember it throughout the day.
Say it out loud? Really? YES, really! Several times in scripture Jesus talks out loud to Satan, commanding him to leave. You have that same power within you. When you take back that authority over Satan, commanding him in a loud, strong voice in Jesus name, he must flee.
Give each day over to Jesus in your morning prayers and remind Satan--not today!!
Linkup up today:
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
A recent photo challenge I am taking part in posted shadow as the word of the week. It immediately brought scripture to mind and I pictured a representation of staying within Jesus' shadow.
Many times in my life I have suffered the consequences of wandering outside the shadow of Jesus. I've left his side too many times to count. I didn't walk away, but I meandered, ventured off the path, lost my focus.
What I've learned is that staying within that shadow, staying close to Jesus, close enough to hear him speak softly, close enough to see his eyes, and feel his presence...those are the times I am blessed beyond measure.
What does it take to stay in Jesus' shadow? Walk closely with him. When he moves, you move with him. When he speaks, you are close enough to hear him. When he grieves, you mourn with him. It's not easy. It takes diligence, concentration, and obedience. As the scripture above states, we must live
in the shadow of the Most High, and then will will find rest.
Best rest assured, Jesus wants you there...next to him, talking with him, following him. close enough for him to put his arm around you and encourage you.
Stay in his shadow, friend and may his peace rest upon you.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
For a few years now I have been participating in an online Photoshop Artistry class. I was absolutely thrilled this last year to be published in our monthly magazine. I had two pieces of art published. Talk about a dream come true! These pieces are two of my all time photo art pieces that I have created.
Each month hundreds of photo art pieces are submitted for publication. I am humbled to have had pieces of my art chosen for 3 different magazine editions. (which reminds me I need to order the hard copies !)
If you are interested in learning more about creating art with your photos, I can't recommend these classes enough. Such a blast turning your own photos into art. Check out PhotoshopArtistry. Our instructor, Sebastian Michaels is a world renowned Photoshop instructor. He has been absolutely amazing and is involved with the students every day. You won't be disappointed!!
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Sometime during the last 10 years it has become acceptable to be unkind. It seems that somewhere between the cracks, our sensibility, our courtesy, and our honor have fallen. I'm sure you've seen it out there--someone racing into a parking spot just as you were about to turn in with your blinker on, another shopper heading for the door just steps in front of you and let's the door slam in your face, when you're checking out at the store and the clerk never looks at you, let alone talks to you or offers a thank you, while others are hiding behind computer screens spewing whatever hate crosses their minds.
It is so disheartening that our world has fallen this far. What has happened to kindness?
Giving kindness is free....and easy. It only requires a quick smile to another, holding the door for a mom with her hands full, offering a compliment, sending a card to someone who has been struggling, or offering someone the last cookie. It's really just being aware of those around you and offering to help in some small way.
But those small ways, can become really big for the recipient of that kind act. It may be all they needed to turn their rough day around, or to offer that same kindness to someone else.
That's the thing about kindness...it's contagious. What can you do today to make someone smile?
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians 3:12
Monday, January 9, 2017
I decided to take part in a photography project this year through 2 Lil' Owls called Let's Do 52. Feel free to click over and learn more about it and join us. There are loads of us participating on her Facebook page. Denise creates beautiful textures to use with photography. This is a great way to keep me practicing photography because sometimes I go far too long without ever snapping a photo!
This last week's prompt was Something from Everyday. I chose a to snap a pic of my bible and journaling. I try most days to sit down and write out scripture. I used to follow a monthly prompt from a couple ladies online, but decided I would get more out of it if I just started writing out entire books of the bible. Writing it out makes me slow down in my reading and concentrating on what I am writing. So far I have written my way through Ephesians and Philippians, an am half way through Colossians. I don't use a fancy journal, just a composition notebook, which seems to be a good size for me. I write big, so I like wide ruled! I don't set any particular numbers of verses or time constraint. I just write until I feel I am finished for the day. Sometimes that is a couple of verses, sometimes it is several pages.
I find it a great way to be in the word everyday, slowing down enough to soak it in.