Tag Archives: words

This is the Art I Live Everyday

Have you ever had one of those moments when you were just completely and utterly overwhelmed by the Gospel?

By its truth, by its fullness, by its richness, by its completeness, by its beauty, by its perfection?

Last night, I had just such a moment.

Yesterday was my birthday (yes, my birthday is on Halloween), and it had been a pretty wonderful day full of life-giving words and thoughtful blessings from friends and family. I mean, my brother wrote me a poem. In Middle English. More-or-less about the Sovereignty of God. Which I love! And he mailed it to me on stationary. He also included a Starbucks gift card…he knows me well.

I’m a words girl. Word of affirmation is my love language. My heart was full!

this is the art i live everyday

But as I arrived at Bible Study last night, I had no idea how my heart would be so full to overflowing by the end of the evening.

To begin with, my Bible Study group of women that I love dearly surprised me with a cake…complete with candles, y’all! And when I say I was surprised, I am so not kidding. I did not see that one coming!

But then as we continued our study of John (we’re on our third consecutive semester, Precept style), as we looked carefully at John 14 and how through Jesus Christ we have full and total access to God the Father, I was literally blown away by the truth and the reality of the Gospel.

I know this sounds ridiculously simple and basic, but this Gospel is just so eternally complete and perfect.

And to realize that we can’t DO anything to be saved through this Gospel, that all that is required of us is to ask and believe, yet it compels us, out of pure love and devotion, to know Christ, to trust Him, to please Him, to obey Him (because obedience is HIS love language)?

I can barely even begin to wrap my mind around it! It’s just THAT good!

So I found myself praying this prayer…

God,
We know You are good, and You are faithful, and You are true.
Thank You for loving us first.
Thank You for providing the way of confident and sure access to Your throne.
And thank You for that way not being an accident nor a surprise to You.
You have a purpose and a plan from beginning to end.
And we know it is perfectly complete … carefully crafted and thought out and executed.
And we praise You for that!
Thank you for Your presence that goes before us and walks with us.
Help us in our everyday as we lean into You, as we trust You, as we follow You, as we obey You.
Thank you for Your radical grace. Thank You for Your presence. Thank You for the new covenant through Your Son, Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice.
May the truth of Your Gospel never cease to overwhelm and amaze!
Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief!
In Christ’s Name,
Amen

This Gospel.

THIS is the art I live everyday!

“Every step we are breathing in Your grace.
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise.
You are faithful, God, You are faithful.”
– Never Once by Matt Redman

—–

we-will-make-art

*linking up with Emily P. Freeman of chatting at the sky for we will make art*

Speak Truth

speak truth

My love language is a near tie between “words of affirmation” and “quality time”, but as one who identifies as a writer and puts a lot of thought into word choice, words tend to mean a lot to me.

So recently, as several people in my community (both near and far) have taken the time and made the effort to make generous and genuine investments by speaking words of encouragement, affirmation, and Biblical truth into and over my life, to say I have been incredibly beyond blessed would be a serious understatement.

And I can’t not come away from those conversations – sometimes lengthy and sometimes quite short – changed by the encounter and seeking out opportunities to make the same investment in others.

There is such tremendous power in your words.

So the next time you sense the Lord prompting you to speak truth into the life of someone around you, by all means do it. And keep your eyes and heart open to the opportunities He so often provides.

Send an encouraging note … facebook messages work, too!

Go out for coffee and listen more than you talk.

Tell someone you’re praying for them … and tell them specifically what you’re praying.

Better yet, offer to pray on the spot.

Give a compliment that may seem too obvious … it may mean the world that you noticed.

Affirm someone’s actions that clearly align with Scripture … you may be the voice of encouragement in the very area they’re feeling discouraged.

Speak truth.

And if you’ve been one of those people in my life recently, THANK YOU! I am deeply grateful and forever changed. Keep listening to the Lord and speaking truth to those around you. Your words make a difference.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:24-25

Word for this Year: Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

wisdom

I’m not really a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, right around the beginning of the year, I think I amused my mother when I told her that I thought they were silly and arbitrary. Of course, part of her amusement may have been the matter-of-fact and ridiculously resolute manner in which I announced said theory.

It’s not that I don’t have goals or that I think setting goals isn’t a worthwhile endeavor. I do and it is. It’s just that specific New Year’s goals often seem morbidly misplaced to me. Amidst a handful of always rotating task-oriented objectives, I currently have just a few overarching goals (set and revised in the context of life as the need arises rather than linked to a particular day on the calendar that seems to lend itself to such a purpose), but they came into the picture long before January 1 and will endure long after January 1, so I can’t really call them New Year’s resolutions.

Not to mention, in years past when I have attempted to set New Year’s resolutions, I typically have failed to take into account a great deal of reality, so I end up failing miserably at them, and the perfectionist part of me doesn’t handle that well. Even if they are silly and arbitrary, writing them down and calling them resolutions makes them real enough to feel bad about not achieving them.

But although (for now) I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, I am by nature quite introspective and when everyone around me begins to lean that direction, I tend to hop right on that bandwagon and put in some extra thinking, evaluating, and analyzing hours myself.

Sometimes that’s productive. Other times, frankly, it is just not.

But while my goals list is extremely short at the moment, I do have a word for this year.

Wisdom.

And while this word, this goal of sorts, seems pretty near impossible to measure, I know it’s what I need.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

So I’m asking the Lord for it.

And I’m expecting it.

I don’t know how He’ll work or how He’ll reveal it or where He’ll lead this year.

But regardless, I want more of His wisdom in and through it all.

And so far, this wisdom is literally around every corner … as if it’s begging to be uncovered. Scripture is certainly not silent about it … this wisdom that is ever and fully dependent on its Source. It’s taking my mind captive. I’m noticing it. I’m soaking it in. I’m evaluating where I fall short, where I need more, and where I need to release.

Because while last year my phrase “to seek the Lord” at times seemed more like something I had to do or achieve, this word doesn’t much seem like something I can accomplish on my own at all – by a sheer force of willpower and self-control.

No, this word, this wisdom, requires dependence, trust, confidence. This wisdom requires standing in need and utter desperation, asking for more of His power, more of His grace, more of His presence.

And in the process of asking, I hope to watch Him increase as I decrease.

I long for more of His wisdom. I long for more of Him.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

Keep Calm and Carry On

Have you ever seen this “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster?

                                                            Source: en.wikipedia.org via Emily on Pinterest

 

I’m pretty much in love with art that incorporates words. I don’t know why. I just love it. I’m also sort of into origins (as illustrated by this post). And while I’ve liked this poster for some time now, after watching this video last night (thanks to Young House Love‘s post on twitter!) and seeing the words in their historical context, I have a whole new appreciation for it. The video is only a few minutes long and much of the photography is beautiful. Such a fascinating story!

No Words

Some days, I just don’t have the words.  A seemingly endless supply of thoughts, emotions, and questions. . .but no words. 

Today is one of those days.

 

 

But have you noticed the recent addition to my sidebar at the right?  The picture of 5 young faces from the Philippines?

(If you’re reading through a feed reader, I would encourage you to click over and see for yourself.)

Today, in the absence of my words, I dare you…

to click on that picture,

to read the words of Shaun Groves as he explains the purpose and ministry of Compassion International,

to read the words of Emily Freeman regarding God’s provision and the Living Word,

to read the words of the other Compassion Bloggers as they blog daily from the Philippines while on a trip with Compassion International,

…and as you read, I dare you to NOT be challenged, encouraged, blessed, and even changed.

Fun Find: Love Poster

It has come to my attention that I have failed to post anything in my “fun find” category for over six months.  So that changes . . . right now.

But this is a different sort of fun find.

I have been following Shannan’s blog, Flower Patch Farmgirl, for some time now and absolutely love it!  She has a genuine and refreshing style and a beautiful heart.

Well about a month ago, for her blog’s two year anniversary, Shannon hosted a giveaway for an 11”x17” poster from Jerusalem Greer.  To enter, we simply had to check out Jerusalem’s etsy site, Jolly Goode, and leave a comment noting which poster we liked best (preferably providing a reason why).

So I left this comment:

My favorite is “Love has come to walk among us.”  It reminds me of the line from Michael W. Smith’s song “Anthem for Christmas” and that makes me think of the powerful message of “Emmanuel”!  Happy 2-year Anniversary!!

  

And I actually won!!!  I was SOOO excited!

Especially considering how much I love words (I’m pretty sure my Bible Study girls from college can vouch for this…) and recently I have become quite in love with art that revolves around words.

My evening-photos-in-bad-light do NOT do this poster justice.  It is a beautiful shade of red!

And to make it even sweeter, profits from Jerusalem’s etsy shop goes toward her family’s desire to adopt!  Love that!

A huge THANK YOU to both Shannan and Jerusalem for the giveaway/poster!!  I love it and cannot WAIT to frame it and get it up in my study!