Friday, February 27, 2009

east to west

This is the third scripture verse that I am memorizing with the ladies from my Bible study group. Such a great verse!

I love listening to the music of Casting Crowns - there is so much truth in the words of their songs.

Below is a wonderful teaching video that Mark Hall, from Casting Crowns, put together talking about the very concept of the above verse.

I think we could all use a little reminder like this sometimes!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

m i r r o r

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror,
but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete,
but then I will know everything completely,
just as God now knows me completely.

I Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)

We would never be so naive as to think that just because we can’t see beyond the scope of this mirror, nothing else in the room exists.

So why are we so tempted to do that in our own lives?

It’s so easy to think that what we see with our human eyes is “the whole picture”…and try to make sense of it with human wisdom.

Our knowledge and comprehension of what’s going on in our lives is SO limited.

One day, we will get to see what was going on outside of our limited scope of view…and it will all make perfect sense!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

be mine

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name;
you are mine

Isaiah 43:1b

Friday, February 13, 2009

sadness + joy

I am in the midst of one of the most painful AND joyous seasons of my life.

So much pain and sadness…and so much hope and joy…all at the same time.

In the last few months, I have personally witnessed more heartache and devastation in the lives of those I love than I ever could have imagined.

I am in the process of witnessing a full-scale assault on the physical, mental and emotional health of one of the most precious people in my life.

Sometimes I feel like it’s just too much.

Sometimes all I can do is cry my eyes out and beg the Lord, “please, lift my head…again!”

Psalm 3:3
“But you, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.”

Sometimes I don’t even know what to pray…there just seem to be no words.

Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Just a few short years ago, this all would have been too much for me…WAY too much!
I shudder at the thought of what witnessing so much pain and darkness would have done to me.
But God is good.
His timing is perfect.
Before allowing me to walk through this valley of darkness with the ones I love, He gave me a season of pure light and freedom.

The Lord showed me (and is continuing to show me) that it is NOT about me. And sometimes I need to be reminded of that hourly!
It is not up to me to carry the burdens of those I love.
(Not that I haven’t tried…believe me…I have!)
But it’s just too heavy…and I would crumble under the weight of it all.

What it is about is handing the precious people that I love over to Jesus. They are so much better off in the hands of their Savior…no matter how much I love them.

The most important thing that I can do is pray, and pray, and PRAY.

John 11:3
“…Lord, the one you love is sick.”

So when I get up off my knees…and wipe away my tears…I am filled with JOY.

Joy in knowing that it is all out of my control…and that is a relief.

Joy in knowing that my prayers have been heard…and prayer changes things!

Joy in knowing that God is on His throne…so I can rest.

Joy in knowing that my loved ones are safe in His arms of love. And His arms are way bigger and way stronger than mine!

Psalm 30:5
“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Psalm 126:5
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

Thursday, February 12, 2009

a new thing

I shared a little bit here about my passion for Scripture memorization.

I also said that I would share with you the weekly Bible verse that I am memorizing with the ladies from my Bible Study group.

Well, here is our next verse:

You might notice a bit of a theme with the scriptures being memorized - that is because they relate directly to the subject matter of the Bible study we are working through.
The study is Beth Moore's "When Godly People Do Ungodly Things".
This study has been called "a biblical guide to authentic repentance and restoration".
It is so good...just like ALL of Beth Moore's, so good!

Anyway, I love this verse from Isaiah (quite possibly my favorite book of the Bible).

Oh, and like I said last time, feel free to print out the verse (it is a jpeg file) and carry it around with you, put it on your refrigerator, really helps with the memorizing process.

Thanks for joining me!! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

life as art

“Life as Art” was the slogan/tagline for my photography business. I always felt like it really summed up what my objective was - creating art…from everyday life.

My clients would hire me to create artistic images of their beautiful children. Of course, once the images had been created, there were always lots of questions on how to display the artwork in their home.

I have gotten lots of requests, through the years, to share my own personal displays of photographs in my home. I never really have before. Not because I didn’t want to.
Just short on time, I guess.
Anyway, time is on my side these days, and there is no time like the present…so here goes.

Most of the images on the first level of my home are pretty small. While I really prefer large prints, I don’t have a lot of great wall space for huge prints downstairs, so I have gone with “clusters” of framed images in various places.

The thing I do love about all these small prints is the ability to “tell a story” with lots of images in one place.

These prints in my dining room are actually pretty big (20”x20”) – it’s just hard to tell.

This is just the tip of the photographic iceberg in my home (you have no idea!)...but it’s a start.

Next time, maybe we’ll head upstairs…I have lots of fun, big prints up there!

By the way, I created a design guide that I offered to my clients to help give them ideas/inspiration for displaying their photographs within their home.
If you are interested in having something like this, send me an email…I’d love to share it with you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

m o r n i n g

"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation."

Psalm 5:3

Thursday, February 5, 2009

t r u t h

I’ve shared before that I asked Jesus into my heart as a little girl.

I grew up in a wonderful, loving Christian home. I grew up going to Sunday school every week. I knew my Bible stories inside & out. I went to a private Christian school for years. I had parents who prayed for me daily and their love for Jesus was (and still is) obvious to all who knew them.

I was saved. I was beyond blessed. I am so thankful for that.

However, over the past few years, I have come to a huge realization…there’s more…there is SO MUCH MORE.

Although I was “saved” my whole life, I was still trapped in destructive thought patterns and behaviors that really did hinder the abundant life that God has for me. And, frankly, I didn’t really see the problem.

There was really nothing to complain about. A wonderful husband, two amazing kids, a very successful career doing what I loved, no really obvious problems…I had a good thing going…why mess with it?


Because as “perfect” as my life appeared, God still had more for me!

He had FREEDOM for me.

Galations 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

As I began to spend more and more time in God’s word, I began to see TRUTH.

John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

By filling my mind with truth, I was able (with God’s help) to identify lies that I had believed all my life…a lot of them about myself.

As I began to tear down the lies, and replace them with God’s truth, freedom started to come!

Freedom from destructive thought patterns. Freedom from behaviors that I had gotten used to…but that were keeping me from living life to the fullest…as God intended.

(For me, this involved actually writing down specific lies that I had believed, and then countering them with specific scriptures that proclaimed TRUTH…essentially tearing down that lie.)

I began memorizing scripture (one verse a week)…reprogramming my mind with God’s word. Powerful!!

Romans 12:2
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword . . . "

God has given me such a love for His Word.

He has given me an incredible passion to encourage others to dive into scripture…and to start using it as the offensive weapon that it is!!

I am currently memorizing scripture with the ladies from my Bible study group.

Here is the verse we have been working on this past week. If you would like to join us, I would love it!

Feel free to print this out and carry it around with you – it really helps when you’re trying to memorize.

Oh, and if you do want to join me in memorizing scripture, leave me a comment OR send me an email so that I can be praying for you!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I will rise

Okay, so I have to share this song with you.

I heard if for the first time, at church, this past Sunday morning.

I don’t think I have ever immediately loved one song so much. Seriously. It is so good.

It’s called “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin.

As our congregation was worshiping together, singing this song, the enormity of the meaning of these words just hit me.
There is only one way to explain the feelings that filled my heart and soul at that moment…JOY…pure joy. Coupled with anticipation.

Oh, I cannot wait to see my Jesus face to face…to fall on my knees and worship Him.
The thought of it alone is almost too much…I just can’t wait!

I know that, in the Bible, it says that the Lord is waiting. Waiting as long as He can. Because it is His desire that everyone would call on the name of Jesus and get to spend an eternity in heaven.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

I am thankful for that. So thankful.
I will patiently endure all the pain and darkness of this world, knowing that each day presents another opportunity for hurting souls to cry out to Jesus…and experience everlasting joy.

'And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
” '

We have so much to look forward to. Thank you Jesus!!

p.s. – I went straight to the Christian book store on Monday to buy this CD (and I haven’t listened to anything else since I got it) – you should seriously consider buying it…it is awesome!
Anyway, I made sure to get “I Will Rise” playing before I even considered leaving the parking lot. I was driving along, singing my heart out, when it got to the part of the song where it gets louder and these are the words . . .

'And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

I was so overcome (for a moment!) that I just closed my eyes and lifted my hands to worship the Lord…thankfully I remembered I was driving and quickly got control of myself.
I probably should wait until I get home to “get my worship on” – especially since this is not the first time that worshiping has affected my ability to drive. ;)

Technically, you could say that I was driving “under the influence".
But as my good friend, Beth Moore (okay, maybe not, but a girl can dream!), would say…

“Ain’t no high like the Most High!!”