Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hope hangs on

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I didn’t sleep well last night and when I did I woke up with a head full of creativity.

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I kept “seeing” one leaf hanging on a tree…I began to think about how that one leaf has to hang on “for dear life” during this storm.  That turned into me thinking about my friend who has been hanging on for dear life in her faith.  I realized that she is the leaf.  The one last leaf on the tree that hasn’t dropped out, hasn’t given up and has hung on “for dear  life.”

“God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

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As I began to paint the tree and it started to come to life I began to see Jesus hanging on the tree.  If you look closely you will notice how “muscular” the tree branches are and that there are only two branches-Our Savior’s arms are stretched out for you and I.   If you look a little deeper into the tree you will note the shape of a body lying in the purple “bark.”   That’s the Body of the One who died for you.  That’s the Body of the One whose love never fails when we hang on. That’s the Body of the One who hung on for YOU. 

He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing.  1 Peter 2:24

You see the wound in the side with the water and blood rushing out- that represents the LIVING WATER that GIVES LIFE ETERNAL.  We can only have this one way by BELEIVING that Jesus IS Lord.

John 7:37

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.

Sometimes when our faith is tested and tried we feel like giving up, but we know if we hang on for a little while longer we will eventually see glory.  The heart of GOD is where the glory lives.  Look a little deeper into the heart and you see many colors there-these are the colors of joy, peace, hope, love-the fruits of the Spirit.  When we operate in the Spirit we receive these fruits and that leads us to the Glory Hole-the place where God longs to take us daily. 

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1 Chronicles 16:27

Glory and majesty are all around him.
Strength and joy can be seen in the place where he lives.

We don’t have to DO anything but be in HIS presence.  God desires a relationship with each of us-and in this relationship we find healing and hope…but sometimes we have to hang on with everything we have to get there-just like this lone leaf.   If  you are feeling dry and parched, Come, to the Living Waters-the Word of God and drop your heart down His Well for a refreshing drink.  It may take many times to get filled up again-but don’t give up, don’t give in and hang on for dear life- after all-Jesus did for you! 

1 Corinthians 13:8

Love never fails.

 

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The title came from another friend…thank you…!!!

While painting I spent myself in worship to Him.

“It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.’”  Luke 4:8

and I opened my Alabaster Box…let me encourage you to let it all go and let God take over…you won’t regret it… love God with all you’ve got…pastor d.

The Healing Tree

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The Healing Tree

All art by Donna Godwin

Isaiah 58:8-9

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,(Z)
and your healing(AA) will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a](AB) will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.(AC)
9 Then you will call,(AD) and the Lord will answer;(AE)
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

 

Healing is in the winds.  Blow Spirit Blow….

There is healing happening everyplace I look-including inside of me.  Praise God and thank God for His obedient ministering servants.  You know who you are.  A prayer can change everything and I tell my congregation ( a lot) that prayer is our most powerful weapon-and it is.  My heart is proof of that and so is YOURS!!!  Someone, somewhere, has prayed for you and God hears those prayers.  It is up to us to surrender our will to His and be completely overtaken by His love and His healing.  It takes time-doesn’t it? 

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If you are like me- you want to know all the answers ahead of time-*ahem* “ it doesn’t happen that way Donna!   This is what I hear from our Father: “  Seek ME, talk to ME, tell ME your troubles, spend time with ME, I love you, lay it down, it’s getting heavy isn’t it?  why don’t you let me carry it so you can be FREEEEEE? I WANT you to be FREE…” 

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Like I said, it takes time.  we have to learn how to HEAR God, then we have to learn how to SPEAK life and light into our lives.  Since attending ALDERSGATE for the first time in my life- my life has changed from the inside out.

I attended a Life in the Spirit seminar earlier in the year and then went to Aldersgate in WVA this summer.  WOW!  It has taught me to re-train the way I think- to transform my mind-to be holy and pleasing to God- to be a living sacrifice-one of praise, prayer and encouragement.    It takes practice and perseverance and spending a lot of time in His Presence and Word.

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At any rate- back to the painting- it was therapy for me.  I had been deeply hurt and had been carrying that hurt around for awhile.  A friend prayed with me and in that time I experienced a sense of release.  Today I was studying Isaiah 11:1-3

A shoot(A) will come up from the stump(B) of Jesse;(C)
from his roots a Branch(D) will bear fruit.(E)
2 The Spirit(F) of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom(G) and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,(H)
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear(I) of the Lord.

So my mind was on trees and shoots and fruit.  The things of God. 

After dinner I headed to the studio to start working on a different painting and I got as far as I could and I felt like I wanted to keep painting.  So I found an old piece of matboard and sketched out a rough tree and started from there.  I have a piece of colorful cloth hanging over my window and I used that as my inspiration for the colors.  Little did I know what would happen later….but scripture tells us that God knows the plans he has for us and that he makes ALL things new!

So I began to paint away.  I was listening to this while painting:

 

I painted for three hours- caught up in the Spirit of God-I was finally free.

( in more than the obvious way.) 

The winds of hurricane Sandy were howling out the window, the  kids were reading, doing homework and hubby was asleep on the couch. 

When I was finished this is what I had done:

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As I sit here and look at it, I am overwhelmed by the JOY I feel inside….

This is ME-surrendering my all-laying everything down-at the foot of the HEALING TREE- the place where God gave us His all and the place where we are called to leave ours so we can BE HIS ALL.   Yes, for all of you nerds out there, the tree is PURPLE.  Purple is the color of ROYALTY and the King I serve is full of ROYALTY.  No brown trees in my painting. LOL

The leaves are all different colors- they are the fruit that comes from obedience.  They are also from Revelation 22:3 On each side of the river stood the tree of life,bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

There is beauty in healing. People come to life, joy is restored and lives are renewed.  I’ve been seeing this happen in my congregation and I stand in awe of all that the Holy Spirit is doing in them and in me.  I take no credit-All the glory is God’s and this blogpost is a testament to what God is doing-to what God WANTS to do when we are WILLING to step out and just do what he is telling us-including things like painting. 

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The heart in the middle of the tree took me the longest to paint.  I knew how I wanted it to look and I kept working it until I got it the way it is.  I didn’t notice this until a few minutes ago-but do you see the middle of it?  There’s a vague figure with arms raised…I didn’t plan that…

My heart is aglow.  I love my Lord with every ounce of my being.  I fail, I falter and I get back up again.  I’ll never be perfect while here, but I am on my way to perfection- as are you! 

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The figure is me and God has poured His glory out on me-no matter how inadequate or unworthy I feel-God is always with me.   When I fall face down before my Father- His glory comes down and shines into my dark places- filling me with light and life for whatever He has planned for me for that moment in time.  My heart is renewed, revived, healed and whole again.  The healing tree has given me it’s balm.  It is like liquid gold.  Pure and true.  My wounds have mended and Living Water flows from heart once again. 

I can breath!

I can sing!  

I can dance for joy! 

Thanks be to God!

As I was finishing up the painting this is the scripture that came to mind:

Zephaniah 3: 14-17

Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud,Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Do you hear that?  The Lord is REJOICING over YOU with singing! 

 

 

Once finished I took a photo and sent it to my friend on FB.  I noticed a beautiful flag that someone had posted –with the same colors as my painting. So the thought-“you should post your painting” came to mind, so I did.  I’m always posting my art stuff so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.   What happened next was totally divine.  I can’t share the details, but just know and believe that God is always at work.  This painting will be going out in the mail this week-to someone I have never met-but to someone who has prayed for healing and has seen God through the painting.  She has named the painting:  “The Touch of God” so she can remember His healing touch.  It will hang next to her flag which is called” The Breath of God.” 

My new friend said this:

 “ It is His message of hope to the wounded daughters …you just preached it in color”

H O P E.

I stand in awe of our Father in heaven in all that He does for us-even through paintings and strangers.  When we are willing vessels-He can work wonders.  Thanks be to God!

forever His…d.

The JOY of this JOURNEY in pictures

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“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”

-John Muir

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“The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consumer nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.”

Phillip Connors

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Some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don’t understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they’re there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it’s the other side that matters.

 

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If you dam a river it stagnates. Running water is beautiful water. So be a channel.

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Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.

Norman Maclean

 

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Focus on the journey, not the destination.

Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

Greg Anderson

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“And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth’s shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.” 

D. Miller

KERPLOP!

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Do you ever have one of those moments when God says: “ WHOA!”

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( DK and COMET-ALL photos stolen from DK’s FB page-LOL) 

My friend Donna Kaye can understand that term well.  She is my horse riding buddy from way back.  (I miss those times!)  I remember DK teaching me how to ride a horse and talking about body language and how a horse listens.  I also remember falling off her horses a few times.  One time we were riding through a field and kerplop-head over heels I went in the green grass.  Nothing hurt except my pride.  Punkin knew we were headed for a hole and she took a different course and I stayed behind.  Horses are so in tune with their surroundings and I am discovering that I need to be more like a horse!   LOL  Live and learn, right? 

Dk

When God says, “ WHOA” you better giddyup and listen.  ( Sorry DK I can’t help myself…I know you are laughing-but I really did take those lessons to heart-especially all that singing we did…the Great Adventure…some things you never forget!) 

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Well, this same thing happened to me last night.  I was walking in the dark, with no light, heading for the back yard.  Little did I know I would stumble and fall and get hurt.  I had just turned around and said to Jessica-one of Emily’s friends- “ be careful with that stick-I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”  Then down I went.  Just like that.  ( and isn’t that just like GOD to show me that when we try to walk in the dark- dumb things happen and people get hurt-so don’t walk in the dark! ) 

I twisted my ankle, hurt my pride, lost the marshmallows and took a ride to the ER.  The good news is that nothing is broken and the bad news is that there will be a bill at the end of this road.  I am thankful that we have insurance and that it wasn’t one of the kids.  The last ER visit was Emily’s ride in an ambulance.  Very scary.

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This morning I realized that maybe this was a good thing and that maybe it was a sign for me to slow down and stop trying to do everything.  The words “ you do too much” have been ringing in my ears.  I’ve been at my church for 4 months now and we have been going full tilt.  I have been feeling like something needed to be let loose.  That something was me.  Like a clogged drain needs some DRANO- every now and then I do too.  So I guess this was my DRANO moment.  The moment to realize that I am not Wonder Woman, that I am not Jesus, and that I can’t do everything and that maybe others need to be asked to do things too.  When I try to control everything-I am robbing others of the joy of being a blessing. ouch, ouch, ouch.  Thanks for that reminder my great pastor friend!  You know who you are. 

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This week’s sermon is about blindness.  It started out as the blindness of the Pharisees but it has ended with my own blindness-the blindness of the DO-ER.   Yes, DO-ing can be a sin and it is one that I struggle with quite often and so did Martha.  I need to be more like Mary and rest in God’s presence and promise.    At least this time it hasn’t taken me so long to see it, although it did take me getting sick and then hurt, to realize I am my own worst enemy.   But then, aren’t we all?  Thank God for grace-He pours it over us new everyday! 

Gentle Jesus ~   Triple_e

  Life is basic training for what is ahead and above.  However fumbling, failing and inadequate I may feel- I am thankful to be a servant for Christ.

Until then I will hop along the dusty trail right behind the Rabbi…

blessings for your own journey-keep putting one foot in front of the other!

d.

dustofyourrabbi

Crumbs

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As I saw the crumbs of communion fall to the ground and then being walked on-

I was gently,

yet, vividly,

reminded of the cost of being a servant.

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My mind raced to the cross.

Jesus’ body was crucified at Calvary-

there were people who ignored him,

spat on him,

and trampled over him-

yet he loved them just them same.

He said,

“Father, Forgive them for they know NOT what they do…

Oh what a love He has for you and I….he loves us just because…

 

Today has been a day of reminders of who God has called me to be-authentic, real, genuine, and in love with Him…that no one is perfect, life is not easy and the compassion for the people that God fills us with is not for us to carry…He already has…

it directs our prayers and words and we must pray without ceasing…

and so I shall….p.r.a.y.

forever and always,

yours.

What’s in the Box?

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The Holy Spirit cannot be contained in a box.

 

or a building.

or a ministry.

 

a box cannot contain the power that created the universe

a box cannot contain the breath of life

a box cannot contain the love of The Father for His people

a box cannot contain the power to heal

a box cannot contain the miracle to provide sight

a box cannot contain the mystery of the love of Christ

you get the picture don’t you?

John 14:15-17

“If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.

When Jesus was resurrected to heaven-God left us with the Counselor- a Helper- the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit resides in every believer. Whether you realize it or not you carry the power of the Holy Ghost with you wherever you go…

Jesus said that whoever believes would do even greater things than these….

John 14: 12

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes(S) in me will do the works I have been doing,(T) and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

The question is not whether you have the power to do it- but do you believe?

John 7:38

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,

rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

YOU have the power to change the world around you…

One lone goose

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Honk! Honk! Honk!

I heard the call of the goose.

Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!

It got a little louder.

HONK! HONK! HONK!HONK!

Desperation rising.

I looked down river and there she was-

honking away….

The longer I listened the more I “heard…”

from God, that is…

Geese travel in flocks and you rarely see one alone unless they have gone astray.

Let’s look at that word astray for a minute:

it means to “wander about”

Isaiah 53:6 says this:

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.

We all stray from the flock from time to time.  We do this when we want to do things our way and not God’s way.  That will always take us down a road that leads to nowhere- away from God.   Sometimes we know we are in trouble, and like the goose, we can call out for help.  “Help me find my way back to the family ( flock.) “ 

God loves for us to call out to Him. 

Psalm 86:1-7

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer;
answer me, for I need your help.
2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God.
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord,
for I am calling on you constantly.
4 Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you.
5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
6 Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord;
hear my urgent cry.
7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble,
and you will answer me.

It’s simple.  God wants his family together.  He sends us out to find the lost family members and bring them home- back to the flock or the nest.  Geese depend on each other for survival.  They mate for life.  When a goose gets sick or wounded two others stay with him until he flies again.  Isn’t this just like God-taking care of all those little details? 

We make things so complicated.  God already has it all worked out.  If we would just follow God we wouldn’t get lost.  But, since we do go astray from time to time-I thank God for people who guide us back onto the right path.

Today I thank God for geese who honk, rivers that are crystal clear and for a God who answers when we cry out.

Thank you Lord for loving me…

d.

Raised into Light

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This Sunday I am honored to be baptizing a young man in my congregation. I have watched God do a mighty work through the people of Glenwood UMC at Coal Creek.   I am humbled to be their shepherd. We are a team working together to build up the Kingdom of God.

I recently read this quote by Ronnie Collins:

” One of God’s greatest gifts of protection to you is your congregation. If you have one, cherish it and thank God for the strength you draw from it. Your pastor cares about your spiritual well-being, prays for your safe journey, and will help you watch out for the ditches. “

I thank God for my Glenwood family everyday and I cherish each person.  Last October I was speaking at Oakland UMC about the Father’s Love. While there I received a gift with this quote on it:

“ When you walk with God you always reach your destination.”

Little did I know God would be doing this a year later…wow

 

Father Son Holy Spirit

God is all-knowing and the quote is true-

when we follow God we always reach our destination-HIS! 

Thanks be to God forever and ever! 

Amen.

 

Romans 6: 2-5 ( MSG) 

That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

Creation praises Creator

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I am the WAY

 

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The Truth

 

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and the Life

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Matthew 16:18-19

18 You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you imprison, God will imprison. And whatever you set free, God will set free.”

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Ephesian’s 2:13

But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away,

have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

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Hebrews 10:19-22

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

 

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John 7:37-38

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.’”

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He leads me beside still waters….

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Psalm 23: 1-3

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.

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Psalm 91: 1-4

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

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Genesis 1:12

The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

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Genesis 1: 14-18

Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

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Psalm 96:1-4

Sing a new song to the Lord!
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
2 Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
4 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!

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Matthew 7:13

“Enter through the narrow gate because the gate and road that lead to destruction are wide. Many enter through the wide gate.

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow….

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( all photos taken by Donna Godwin)

Listen to the words….

Have a blessed week….

d.

The Prophet’s Mantle

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prophets mantle

Drawing helps me see better.

This is called the Prophet’s Mantle.  A prophet is someone who God speaks through to tell us specific things.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  No easy call. A mantle is a symbol of authority and a cloak or loose wrap.  The words on this mantle are from Isaiah.  This mantle is the Word of God written on a scroll wrapped around the prophet.  The ULTIMATE AUTHORITY! 

I don’t know who this fella is and he just came out of the pencil.  He is young, modern looking and very peace filled and prayerful.  The Spirit of the Lord is on him.  He wears God’s Word as a covering over his body.  It goes before him and trails behind him-making the highway straight through the wastelands for the Lord. 

While I am not a prophet-this was a good exercise for me to see what I need to do- a reminder to wear God inside and out-to let God lead me and for me to follow.  To be filled with peace and live a life of prayer.  To walk the straight and narrow path with our Creator.  While we can’t understand it all-we aren’t supposed to. 

We walk the way of God in peace and with love as our covering.  Stay focused.

Thanks God…I love ya….