Monthly Archives: November 2009

Returning to your first love…

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Hi!

I don’t know about you, but when I hear God speaking I get excited!  Lately He has been telling me that people have lost thier excitement and passion for God; that they have wandered away from thier first love- Jesus Christ.  A lot of things cause us to wander and I think the main thing is that we lose our focus.  When we listen to the world, or we become hindered by sin we tend to wander off in the wrong direction like stray sheep.  Sometimes it takes the strong and tender hands of a loving shepherd who is willing to pick us up, embrace us in love,  and put us on the right path again.   This is what God has spent all of time doing.

Yes! God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, the One who measured the skies and stretched out the heavens in a starry host, the One who calls each of us by name, who knows every hair on our head and every thought in our mind…the ONE who sits on the throne high above the earth and who is always reaching out to lend us a hand…He IS the ONE we are to get excited about!  What’s NOT to get excited about?  He created the world in six days, he parts the seas to save, he floods the earth to cleanse and replenish, he builds walls, he causes men to dream and prophesy, he saves the faithful from the fiery furnace,  he speaks to man in the belly of a fish,  he births a Savior in a virgin, he turns water to wine, he heals the blind and lame and he resurrects the dead!  He brings new life to those who believe.  All we have to do is believe. There are no other requirements.  Romans 10: 9-10 says: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  So, there are no wierd rules that say you have to face a certain way or wear a certain piece of clothing to speak to God.  Did you know that all that God wants is for us to treat him like he is our best friend?  That’s it!  He wants us to talk to him all the time.   I talk to him a lot when I am alone, walking, in the car, out loud, thinking and even singing!  He speaks to us through His Word, in creation, and through other people. 

I was awakened this morning by a dream that I was drawing a picture and telling a crowd people to return to thier first love and why.  When I got up, I went to 2 Peter 3 and read this:   1-2 My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention. 

FOCUS!!!!!!!!!!

then this: 2 Peter 3: 8-9  He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.

He desires for each of us to be with HIM!

then 1 John 1:   1-2From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.  3-4We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!

JOY JOY JOY  EXCITEMENT  PASSION

then Jude:   3-4Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.

Are we hearing this? Jude has dropped everything to tell us about Jesus!  He is begging us to join Him in this race!

These are a few of the people that God has sent to speak to us.  They are all passionate about Christ and His message of salvation.  Can you hear it and feel it in thier words? I certainly can!  I want you to be as excited as I am!  There IS hope! There IS love! There IS a future!  We will never understand the ways or thoughts of God and that is not a requirement.  All we are to do is BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Believe in your heart and you will be saved!  I promise you it will change your life! 

forever forgiven…Donna

 

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Lending a hand…

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WOW!

The more time I spend in ministry the more God speaks to me!   Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some chalk art while a very good friend was speaking at an event.   Both of us would have liked to have had more time to speak, and to draw people nearer to God, but since we were sharing the microphone with others, we did the best we could with the time we were allowed.    I was expecting something different than what I received and that just said to me, ” Donna-your expectations are not mine-” GOD. haha.  I always feel very inadequate in what I do for the Lord and at the same time I have learned ( with each drawing) to accept my inadequacies for what they are.  They keep me from thinking too highly of myself so I am glad they are there!  God is saying, ” Donna, it’s not about YOU!”  OUCH!!!!!  Thank you Lord! 

It has been an eye opening journey to watch God work between my friend and I as we prepared for this event.  I have been dreaming about lampstands, and feeling frantic about not being able to remember what I am supposed to be saying.  I have been awakened in the middle of the night feeling this great sense of urgency for the spiritually lost in the world.  Frantic and scared.  God is raising my awareness to the needs of the world.  I have been dreaming about not being able to hear and about being blind.   When we are spiritually blind or deaf we are not able to hear or even see God!    It is only when we become “blinded by the light of Christ” that we are able to see and hear God!   Remember Saul on the road to Damascus?  Acts 9:4-5  says:  ” SUDDENLY A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN FLASHED AROUND HIM. HE FELL TO THE GROUND AND HEARD A VOICE SAY TO HIM, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  ” Who are you, Lord”” Saul asked.  ” I AM JESUS WHOM YOU ARE PERSECUTING.”  he replied. Saul was speechless and also BLIND!    Let’s look at the rest of the scriputre…

So they ( the men who were traveling with Saul) LED HIM BY THE HAND into Damascus.  For three days he was blind and did not eat or drink anything.  The Lord sent Ananias to Saul to restore his vision!  How? Acts 9: 17 says that Ananias PLACED HIS HANDS on Saul and he said, ” “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

WOW!  Can you imagine being Saul?  He must have thought he was crazy!  He was struck by light and then blinded and three days later he was healed and filled with the Holy Spirit-turning his life back to GOD!   But guess what people?  He didn’t do this alone!  He had help!  Who helped him?  The men who were traveling with him and a stranger!  What does this tell us?  That GOD loves even the most murderous people, that he heals and that he uses others to lead us in the right direction! TOWARDS HIM!   So in Saul’s blindess, God rose up deep within Saul’s soul- causing a transformation in Saul like he had never experienced before!  THAT is the wonder working power of GOD! 

As I go into ministry God is showing me the complacency, the despair, the apathy and the hopelessness that people are feeling.   AS I step out and grow, it becomes more and more evident to me and it is a burden that I now carry deep in my heart.  When I see the deadness on the faces of people around me my heart screams for them and if mine is screaming, then I must ask, “what is God’s doing?”  It is bleeding.   While my soul is jumping for joy and wants to scream and shout praises to God,  I look at those around me who seem to have blank stares and are like dead rotting wood with no life in them, I am encouraged by GOD to hold out my hand and say, ” Come on! Let’s GO!  Let me show you the way!  Let’s travel this road together, here is a drink of water, you can do it, a few more steps, you are doing great, keep going…”  You see, God has given me His joy unspeakable and He EXPECTS me to share it with others so they too can experience God’s great and all consuming JOY!  It is in our obedience to share God with others and  that we can EXPECT God to show up and do HIS miracle work in them!  We are simply the messengers, and JESUS is the SAVIOR.    It is only when we do our job that God can work through us and do his!  You know He really doesn’t need us, but He wants us to get it so badly that He is willing to do anything to reach us!  That’s why He sent Jesus to earth to lend us a hand.  But not everyone has taken His hand yet and our work here is not done.    It is my prayer that each person reading this would feel compelled by GOD to reach out and help another in the name of Jesus Christ…even when people call you crazy you just keep looking at God and let him lead you every step of the way!  Our reward will be in heaven when we see how many hands and feet are there alongside of us!    Noah, Abraham, Ezekiel, Paul, John, Timothy, Peter, Martha, Mary………………

Let the church arise!

Doing your best for GOD

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Hi! 

 I have been reading Timothy and it has been in God’s timing that He would encourage me through the words of Paul.  I want to spend my life living FOR God, not against Him and I refuse to live any other way.    I want to do the very best I can for the One who  suffered and died for me.  One of my goals has been to be an encourager and sometimes I get caught in that trap of listening to idle chatter that does not lift up God.  I have found that when I am away from the idle chatter I am focused on God, but when I am around it, I feel icky, I feel bad, I feel negative, grumpy, you name it.  It’s just not good.  Then that rubs off onto the next person I see and so and so on.  It’s like a virus with no cure. When we use our words against each other, we are not living for God.  We are living for self.  I will be the first to say that I have my own issues with using words I shouldn’t and I am not talking about cussing, I am talking about arguing,  gossiping , nitpicking, bickering, etc..  God is showing me the way to live in the words of Paul.  

2 Timothy 1: 6

NIV

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Paul is speaking to Timothy here and he is urging him to be diligent, unwavering, persistent and unashamed to do the work of the Lord.  God’s Word says we should not give in to the ways of the world and that we are to guard the gift that God gave us with the power of the Holy Spirit.  God has freely and abundantly poured his spirit into us.   It is satan that wants to keep us timid and cowering like a scaredy cat!  Paul spends a lot of time encouraging Timothy, and many others, to do the work of the Lord.  We are to do the same for those around us.  We all need encouragement from time to time and if we don’t think we do, then we better step back and look at ourselves really hard!  I know I need all the encouragement I can get!

One of my problems has always been that record player that is constantly playing in my head.  It spins this negative tune that is filled with words that poison my soul.  Yes, i said poison!  I recently had someone say some pretty mean things to me and you know what?   Those things played over and over in my head until I began second guessing myself!    See, the problem was that I made a stand for God and that person didn’t understand it.  You know what? That’s perfectly fine because we are all at different levels of spiritual maturity.  That person is not where I am and I am no longer where they are.  I think this is why Paul spends so much time encouraging us in the scriptures.  Paul has experienced first hand- the destruction that words can do to a soul.  Paul tells Timothy to ” run after mature righteousness-faith, love, peace-joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.  ” ( MSG)

THE MESSAGE says:

2 Timothy 2: 14-18  Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. 

Sometimes poison works quickly and other times it takes a long time to work.  In the case of words, nitpicking and gossip, it can go either way.   Things that we might say or hear from years ago will rear its ugly head and take us back in time, leaving us to feel the way we did the very first time we heard those words.   It’s the same way with things said yesterday.  It will wear us out if we let it.  This is why we need people like Paul to encourage and admonish us to keep doing the good work that God has gifted us to do. 

Because it is a gift you know…every single day is a gift and it is only when we treat it like the gift that it is

will we be able to  receive the  goodness that God is waiting to pour over us! 

2 Timothy : 20-26 ( MSG)

 20-21In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. 22-26Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.

Quite a few years ago I led a weight loss bible study called First Place.  In one lesson we talked about the different things that we fill our bodies with.  Well, I like to use visual aids so I had this clear , hollow glass head and I took a bunch of “stuff” and started pouring things together in the head.  Well, by the time I got done with it, it was awful looking!  Gross! Yuk!  This scripture reminds me of that visual aid.  When we sit down to eat do we eat the garbage that’s in the trashcan or the food that God provided us from the garden?  When we fill ourselves with garbage, garbage comes out.  When we fill ourselves with goodness, goodness comes out. When we fill ourselves with poison- it kills. When we fill ouselves with God it brings things to life.  It’s really pretty simple the way I see it.  Life or death?  I am talking spiritually and eternally!   

Making a stand for God is always worth it, even if it means losing friends.  I know, I’ve lost a few myself.  I grieved over them for awhile and today I always pray that God will continue His good work in them and that He will send someone to help them in thier walk, just as He has me.  We all want to save the world, but that’s not our job, it’s GOD’S.  Our job is to be GOD’S APPROVED WORKMAN whether the other people like it or not.  Are we pleasing God or people?  We MUST get out of God’s way so HE CAN DO HIS WORK!   Sometimes that means letting people go and letting them  know that while you love them, you cannot be around them.   We must pray for them daily, for God to turn thier lives upside down for HIM!  We must pray for them to receive it willingly and to embrace God with everything they have, to run the good race with endurance!  After all, isn’t that what God has done for us?  I certainly know He has me!  If He can turn my life upside down, then he can yours too!

Are you willing?

Always praying,

Donna

 

 

Steeples in the sky!

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Hi!

My Mom and I have the same interests-steeples in the sky!  She is an awesome photographer and she has taken all of these photos of steeples recently.  I love them ALL!  Take a look and thanks for sharing Mom!

This is in Palmyra, NY.  Isn’t it magnificent?  I will have to visit this beauty the next time I am home!

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the bell tower on this one! 

 

 

 

This one is in Canandaigua, NY.

 

This one seems like it has conflicting styles or something…??

 

 

 

This one reminds me of Slovakia!

 

 

This is in Clifton Springs, NY.  It looks like something is missing!

There will be more in another blog, so look for that soon!

Thanks Mom!

Love,

D.

 

 

 

In the studio

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Hi!

This is a Mary Englebreit drawing that I just love!  This is how I feel about Our awesome Creator, Father, Abba, Daddy!  Take my life and let it be…

May you be inspired by GOD to LIVE for Him!  It is an awesome adventure!  I am looking forward to what He will bring today!

Be encouraged!

 

Are we?

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Hi!

I have been studying Romans in a small group setting with a close friend.  It has been very enlightening.  God put Romans on my heart 12 years ago and He used another Romans study to “wake me up!”  It was actually the first real bible study I had ever done with a group of people.  It was also a Kay Arthur Precepts study.  Phew!  I didn’t get it all, but I got enough to know that I needed to change! God has been chiseling on me ever since!  See, since about July of this year, Romans 12 has become my life verse.   It talks about placing your life before God in all that you do.  Not just part of it, but ALL of it. 

The Message says, ” Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering.  EMBRACING what GOD does for YOU is the best thing you can do for him.  Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  UNLIKE the culture around you, always dragging you down to to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

When we wake up each day, we are to lift ourselves up to God and offer our hands, feet, our mouths, eyes, ears, body, mind and soul to Him in an offering of selfless servanthood.   Get out of bed, look to the heavens, lift your arms and say, ” Here I am Lord!  I’m all yours!  I am embracing everything you place before me today in your unending love.  Fill me with your love, a passion for Truth, and a willing heart to follow you no matter what the cost.   Help me to embrace everyone I meet with YOU!” 

The scripture says to not become so well adjusted to our culture that we fit in without even thinking!  Let’s talk about this for a minute…God has me under conviction that the world is NOT a bowl of cherries and that I have been fooling myself.  If it was, He would have come back by now!   It is so easy to get into our little comfort zones and stay there and this is where we must be ever mindful that this is a mistake.   When we stay in our nice little cocoons of love, peace and hope we are only hurting ourselves.  That might be our nice little world, BUT it is NOT status quo.  Yes, we are to take the love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ  to the world, but by and large the world does not accept it.  We MUST stop fooling ourselves!  We MUST start living in urgency and respond to everything with God’s Truth.  Not ours, but God’s.  You see, I used to think that God was all love, love, love.   The part I was not “getting” was the rebuke and the discipline.  When God says DON’T DO IT, then we shouldn’t do it.  We can’t just say, ” oh I can do it and then ask for forgiveness and it will be okay.” NOT!  It doesn’t work that way.  We will be disciplined!  God does not want us to intentionally sin over and over again.  We are to learn from our mistakes, to change and overcome the sin through  the strength of Christ.  We are to give our selfish ways up to GOD.  We are to be mature!  As Christians, it is our responsibility! 

In Romans , Paul urges us to  be who we are made to be-to teach, to encourage, to guide, to keep our eyes open, to respond quickly and in love, don’t get irritated or depressed and to keep a smile on our face!  He says we are to love from the center of who we are; DON’T BE A FAKE!  We are to keep ourselves fueled and flaming for Him. Don”t quit!  Pray!   These are heavy duty instructions and they are there for a reason.  In Revelations John tells us to wake up and listen, to not quit, to not indulge the “crowd”,  to not let the world mislead us, to take the covers off of our heads,  to NOT be fake, to be HOT on fire for the Lord instead of being lukewarm.    In Revelations 3:19 , The Message says, ” The people I love, I call to account-prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live thier best. Up on your feet, then!  About face! RUN after God Look at me.  I stand at the door. I knock.  If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.”     “Are your ears awake? Listen!  ”

Are we awake?

Are we listening?

Are we living our best for GOD?

I  encourage you to today to seek the will of God for YOUR life, to stand up for GOD and to never, ever quit!

 

Steeples

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Hi!

Here is a small sample of the art I have been doing since my trip to Slovakia. 

During this trip I have been the grateful recipient of the abundant JOY of Christ Jesus. 

God has allowed me to experience this JOY in HIS time and HIS way and I am filled to overflowing. 

Each picture tells it’s own story.

I love Georgia OKeefe and she has a unique style all of her own and I think I have picked up on some of that here.  I love to take pieces of things and draw them.  It keeps you guessing!  I also love steeples, as you will see here.  One of the things I love about them is that they can be seen from a distance and you can always find your way by looking for a steeple.  Last weekend we were visiting my sister and we took a new route to her new home.  I got a little mixed up and I said, ” okay, look for the steeples and we will find her house.”  You see, in her town there are three beautiful churches with steeples in the downtown area.  I knew if I could find those I would be on the right road.  It’s like that with Jesus too…when we find Him, he directs our footsteps in the right direction.

This trip to Slovakia is just the beginning of my journey with God.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store each new day!  The joy I have experienced has been overwhelming and it gets stronger each day.  I really have no words for it and I am seeing everything more clearly, and have a new understanding of what God wants me to do and I feel so amazingly blessed, like I finally “get it!” 

Thank you Lord for never giving up on me!

 

Steeple with song

 

This first drawing is a slanted steeple pointing towards the sky…to the right.  ( the last one is also)

Hebrews 12: 2  says :

 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  It’s pointing right at Jesus!  I love the blue and the light in the clouds- that shows the joy I am feeling.  The birds show the freedom that I feel in knowing that Christ sits at the right hand of God the Father and that He is LORD of my life!

Slovakia steeple 3

Come, Holy Spirit

This last one is my favorite one!  This is so SLOVAKIAN!  You can see the JOY clearly here!  This one is titled ” Come Holy Spirit” and it has!  On my life! I stand in awe of Our Creator and pray that you are also blessed with this JOY UNSPEAKABLE!  Because that’s what it is…UNSPEAKABLE!

Blessings!

D.

Joy, Joy, Joy

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Psalm 19:8 (New International Version)

 8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
       giving joy to the heart.
       The commands of the LORD are radiant,
       giving light to the eyes.

 968371_praise_god   

 

  

 

Psalm 16:11 (The Message)
 11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
      all radiant from the shining of your face.
   Ever since you took my hand,
      I’m on the right way.

   

 

joy  

 

Psalm 28:6-8 (The Message)
 6-7 Blessed be God—
      he heard me praying.
   He proved he’s on my side;
      I’ve thrown my lot in with him.

   Now I’m jumping for joy,
      and shouting and singing my thanks to him.

 8-9 God is all strength for his people,
      ample refuge for his chosen leader;
   Save your people
      and bless your heritage.
   Care for them;
      carry them like a good shepherd.

Thank you Jesus!

And all the people said…

Amen, Amen and Amen!

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOY!

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Turn it up loud!

 

worship_crowdPsalm 30:12   ( The Message)

  I’m about to burst with song;
      I can’t keep quiet about you.
   God, my God,
      I can’t thank you enough.

Turn up the music!

Turn it up loud!

Take a few chances…

Let it all out…

you won’t regret it!

It’s not who you knew.

it’s not what you did,

it’s how you LIVE!