Take Me Deeper June Week 3 Living Victoriously

June Wk 3I really did not know at the beginning of this year long online bible study Take Me Deeper, exactly how hard this was going to be.

You start off being excited about what God is going to do, thinking you know what issues need to be addressed and “fixed”; little do you realize that He has his own agenda and plan for the healing that you need and it can be very painful when your safely hidden pain is probed, pierced and the pus begins to drain…only then can true healing take place and His healing balm be poured into the wound..the balm cannot work quickly and to the maximum power if we will not let the boil be pierced.

We run and busy ourselves with “good” works so that we do not have to be still long enough for the needle to find it’s mark. How many times with your children have you needed to remove a splinter and they would not allow you to, until it became so painful and infected that the pain was worse than the “cure”.  Why then as rational, intelligent adults do we do the same thing with the Lord?

God is good and merciful, filled with grace and love for his children…all the time!

So very thankful for his patience, grace and mercy that he pours out on me daily.

Take a few minutes and check out His Kingdom Come, an online group of women from all over the world who are sharing their love of the Lord and so many different arts and crafts it is amazing!! Click Here

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Neighborhood Flower Stalker Iris Daisies Peony Columbine Drive-by

Here are a few of the flowers that were showing off in my neighborhood last week.003 copy 009 copy 038 copy 040 copy 056 copy 091 copy 113 copy 126 copy 153 copy 171 copy 175 copy 197 copy 217 small 226 small 257 smalljpg 277 small 291 small 305 small 322 smallI am going to create magnetic signs for my car that say “Neighborhood Flower Stalker” with my web info..have gotten a few looks and I don’t want anyone calling the police..I don’t take photos of the houses/cars/people..they are not nearly as interesting as the flowers!  Iris, Peony, Columbine, Daisy – Hope you have a blessed day!

PS..if you decide to pick one of my flowers to use or share..please give credit where credit is due and a PayPal Donation would be lovely, it helps pay for web support and camera equip.  I am disabled and cannot work because back problems make it impossible to sit or stand in one place for very long.  Photography and Art are my therapy and they keep me from going completely crazy from the chronic pain that I live with 24/7.

Praying for a blessed week for you!

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Consider Think About Toss Around Ponder an Idea

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Iris and scripture combined to Consider, Ponder Think about and to Toss Around

Consider, think about, toss an idea round, ponder…that the God of the Universe is able and cares enough to provide what I may need. Now the hard part is laying down the wants and give up the “American Dream Life” to accept whatever life it is He wills for us so that we will receive the rewards He has planned for us in our eternity…so everything we desire for … oh 70 years (right – house, car, vacations, clothes (STUFF)), or Rewards and Heavenly Riches for Eternity…hummm…why is that so hard to choose? I have a list of wants that would circle the earth if laid out end to end and I have things that I feel like are needs that nothing is happening regarding..things like surgeries, car that will get me to and from without worrying about breaking down, a home that is not falling apart (landlord is slow to get things done)..it makes it hard to really believe that He cares about and will provide..that is what the enemy whispers in my ear. But the TRUTH is He can and will, but we have to place our self completely without reservation in His will not our own and that is where I struggle; letting go of my SELF sufficiency, I can do this myself attitude…even after 12 years of being disabled, I still try to do more than I am physically, financially able to do and it brings me nothing but pain and stress. So now that the Lord and I have had this conversation my attitude must change, I must daily place my wants and desires at the cross and wait upon him, believing in faith, not doubting that He will fulfill His promises to me.  That darn discipline word again…

As I was developing (old film days) this beautiful Iris photo the scripture about the flowers being adorned more greatly than Solomon came to mind (God works like that).  As I was pfaffing the editing and playing around with the layout, the word Consider kept working on my heart.  I am so stubborn and self sufficient from a lifetime of  having to take care of myself because those who were supposed to, did not.  God has been working on me for my entire life to lay it down and to just trust Him, with everything.  I go through periods of trust and then fall back into my old pattern of taking care of things myself and the enemy begins his whispering attack on my mind.  But the Lord is faithful and trustworthy and he never leaves me or forsakes me and today’s devo reiterated that to my heart.

Therefore he is able to save COMPLETELY those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25 NIV

Hope that you have a Blessed Sunday!

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Discipline or Lack of; Morning Glory Beauty Lost

Happy Monday to you my friends!  I have been having a Chat with the Lord this weekend, and this is the Convo…

Discipline or Lack Of…

I have realized that I must begin to discipline myself to post here first and then allow myself to peruse other Social Media. I have been letting myself get swallowed up in looking at other people’s work, photography, mixed media, mono printing, painting, bible journaling, etc..everything that I want to do and have the supplies to do, yet I am spending my best hours seeing other people do those things and my frustration with myself is growing exponentially which in turn saps my energy and round and round we go.

Ownership Lost to Lack of Discipline.

My words and my work are floating off in the Never Land of ownership of others. FB has the right to do whatever it wants with what we post…unless we bring it in from our own websites, so why, oh why, do I keep posting directly to FB instead of my websites? Habit, routine, laziness…probably all of those things, but bottom line it is a lack of discipline. On Sunday I posted the most beautiful Morning Glory that I have done to date and why did I post it there instead of here, I must be crazy.  Well I know I am a bit crazy but it is really a lack of discipline in my life right now..I keep meaning to get around to posting here more frequently…but, I find myself on every other SM site instead.  I am sorry that I have done that to you and to myself.  How can I build blog friendships if I neglect them?  Can’t, can I? That darn word again…Discipline.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11 -Truth!

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See, isn’t that beautiful?  Morning Glories remind me of my grandmother and how much she loved me.  She was a living, breathing example of Christ’s love; it touched the hardened, bitter heart of an unloved, un-cared for little girl. I struggled and fought the Lord for half of my life, hurt and embittered by “Christians” for so  many years; I swore off church, if that was what it was all about then NO Thanks! But that is not what it is about, all Christians are broken people, who do not have it all together and I have learned that those people who hurt me as a child could not possibly have had the true, pure love of Christ in their hearts and that makes me feel so sad for them.  Christ’s call to us is to serve Him, to take up our cross and give up our lives so that He can heal our wounds and give us a new life in Him; a life ALIVE with promises. (My Sunday devo  spoke to me of that)

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22 NIV   www.biblegateway.com – My Daily Devo Link

We must discipline ourselves to seek Christ in everything, (I am reminding myself) it is so easy to get sidetracked by our wants and dreams; so easy to allow ourselves to be hurt by others.  Realizing that the “Church” and “Christians” are human and just as susceptible to sin and error as anyone; and letting go of the hurt instead of packing it into our hearts and minds where it festers into bitterness and poisons US!

I am confessing right now, to you, that I was struggling with that this weekend…ok, really for quite some time now; little insignificant hurts that I shrugged off over and over, bigger hurts that I thought that I had given over to Him, have built up into a wall of resentment and frustration; and as the Lord and I talked about it, he showed me that the real target of these feelings is not those “people” but Him.  I am angry with Him!  Facing that as I typed I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that the God of the Universe loves me and He is not turned away by my anger, He does not stalk off in a pout; He loves me unconditionally. He is saddened that I have again let things pile up in my heart and mind instead of daily bringing them to Him to heal and calm.  He has not rejected me, but He cannot heal things that I will not give to Him, as long as I retain possession he can do nothing about them or the state of my heart; we are not puppets as I once thought I would be if I believed (teenage rebellion excuses), we are free agents who can choose moment by moment how we handle the things of this world.  We get to choose what we give to Him, all or nothing sounds like what it has to be, but in reality I often only give him bits and pieces, planning to handle the rest myself; after all, He is really busy with the universe and all those billions of people; He does not need to be bothered by my “insignificant” little problems, right? Wrong!!  Big LIE..none of my problems are insignificant to him, especially if they keep me from him.

Lies I Have Believed for too long!

No one loves me,  If my own father doesn’t love me why should anyone else? Because my parents did not care, no one cares, I am not worth bothering with, I will never have a “good” life (ie..right house, right car, exotic travel destinations).

Big lies that the enemy whispers in my ear when things happen, lies that I thought that I had overcome years ago are trying to worm their way back into my head and heart.  The truth is that the only one I have to worry about loving me is the Lord!  He and he alone is the only one who can heal my hurts and love me unconditionally; others fall short because they are human and have their own hurts they are dealing with.

The God of the Universe whispered the words of Jeremiah 29:11 to me years ago, before I even knew what Jeremiah 29:11 even said…why can’t I keep my eyes on that instead of the static noise the world pours out?  Because I took my eyes off of Him and put them on myself and the hurts inflicted by others.  For some reason we can begin to be deluded by “The American Dream”, the upwardly mobile track of having more, doing more, the lie that if we are the Lords we will not face hardships, the lie of thinking that people are thinking you are less if you have less.  Letting someone else’s lie touch your heart.

(For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.) Jeremiah 19:11

Part of the problem is that we don’t read the before and after of that verse, we read that we are going to be prospered, have hope and a future for the great American Dream!  But that is not the thing we are to fix our eyes upon! No, our eyes need to be fixed on His face and our heart tuned to hear His voice and direction…That my friends is prosperous, hearing His voice, knowing His heart; that leaves the right subdivision, right car, right clothes in the DUST!!  What are those things that we would cling to them when the hope of our future (our eternity) is in Him.

(12. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  14.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”)

I was carried into exile when I allowed my heart to be hardened as a child, when I refused to give it up to Him and allow him to heal and deliver me from the sin of bitterness, anger, rebellion.  I belonged to the Lord, he has always been a part of my life (thanks to my grandmother and grandfather), I just refused to do it His way.  I am so very thankful that He does not throw us away when we misbehave!  He holds onto us, whispers in our ear; Oh, if we would just listen for that still small voice and shut our minds to the lure of the world and all the noise that bombards our heart and mind.

Thank you Father that you do not give up on us, that you offer Grace and Mercy at every turn; you welcome us back into your arms at our slightest turning toward you! I praise your Holy Name!!

If you are struggling with hurts, anger, resentment, bitterness – visualize yourself pouring a toxic poison into a cup and then drinking it..why, why would we drink poison and expect other people to be hurt by it?  Lie, lie, lie…hanging onto resentments and hurts only poisons us and those we love the most.  Forgiveness applied immediately is the only cure! Choose to forgive – let go of the lies that your feelings and emotions are telling you! Forgiveness IS A CHOICE, it has nothing to do with emotions or feelings, emotions are wounded, feelings are hurt and they lie to us.  Even those little bitty hurts that we brush off can poison our hearts if we do not bring them to the Lord with forgiveness readily on our tongue.  Excuse me now while I go and meditate on the things that I have been holding back and stuffing so that I can feel the love and excitement that is offered to me when I am obedient to Him!

I know that the word Discipline will be showing up again in my posts as that seems to be a real weakness in my life right now that needs change ASAP!  Please forgive me if I sound like I am preaching..I am..preaching to myself!!  I get so excited when God reveals these things to my heart that I can’t help but share them!

Praying the love and blessings of the Lord is poured out into your heart, mind and life!

My Prayer

My grandmother still speaks to me through her poetry! You can click on the pic or click on the link up top to see my daily photography posts.

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How to Get Started with Art Making

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Morning in Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Longing to Create with Paint?

Have you always wanted to paint and/or draw but think that you can’t?  Perhaps you were told as a child that you did not have artistic talent, that is a lie.  You may have had an art teacher in school who ignored you or just plain did not see your talent because they were wrapped up in the one or two who were more advanced and you told your self “I’m not good enough”, well that is another lie.  Or you may have had a family like mine who ridiculed you and art and you became discouraged.  But I know that if  you look at someone else’s art work and have the thought, “Oh, I wish I could do that”…then you can!  Yes, Yes, you can; it takes some work, diligence and time; but you can do it if it is something that you really, really want to do. We hold back and do not try because we are afraid it will not be “good enough”, we fear failure. Have you gone to one of the new “sip & strokes” classes and felt that your painting did not measure up and so you gave up? Well keep reading..

Certain Failure in Painting and Drawing?

No, there is no failure unless you stop trying! You will not start out doing art perfectly, it is a process that takes time, thought, energy and study.  If you want to paint like Monet, you will need to study the techniques of impressionism.  If you want to paint like John Singer Sargent, you will study Sargent and the people that Sargent studied.  If you just want to have fun there are a plethora of internet learning locations from free to outrageously expensive.  I am planning a series of FREE very basic tutorials so that you will know what to buy, how to use it effectively and how to take care of your tools so that they will last.  I also plan to do project tutorials (small cost) that will walk you through a project step by step. (I have to finish organization on my studio (dining room).  Click here to sign up for my email list and you can be notified each time I post, so that you won’t miss a thing.

The Beginning, learning to Paint and Draw.

If you really want to paint and draw then you must start in the beginning and get the proper tools, you will need colored pencils, paint, paper or canvas and mark making tools, like pencils, brushes and palette knives and even an old credit card. The first step is research, and setting up a budget for what you want to do; you do not want to go broke buying supplies and then discover this medium/style is not for you.  So look at paintings and see what you are attracted to, do you like vibrant color or more subdued? Photo Realism, Impressionism, Minimalism, Futurism, Cubist or Abstract, Mixed Media (fav) Bible Journaling, Gelli Plate painting (fave 2), Graphic Design.  If you are not on Pinterest that is a great place to start your research.  Click here  or click on my Pinterest icon up top and check out my Pinterest site where I have hundreds  umm..thousands of art posts stored, feel free to follow my site or individual pages and stay up to date on what I am working on with the art class projects I am teaching at my church and local library.

You need to know that there are rules in art just like in math, washing dishes, vacuuming, driving, baking; they may be unspoken, you may not have taken a test to determine your sufficiency to do those things but you did learn to follow certain rules..such as, you must plug the machine in, you must connect certain hoses, you have to turn/press the key/switch, you must put the flour into the bowl first and then add the baking soda, lard and milk (told on myself didn’t I).  As more and more things have become technical there are more and more rules. Unwritten but understood rules, rules you learned a little bit at a time while you did things.

Rules for Art

Rule 1…Accept imperfection, sometimes what we are working on may turn out just plain awful,  it may be just OK, but not museum ready like we planned. (if it is awful..paint over it) (if it is just OK..take time to think about what might improve it)

Rule 2 …Now that you have accepted Rule 1…Have Fun!!  Art is great fun and very therapeutic for our minds and souls. I can get lost in praise, worship and prayer while I work and it is heavenly.

Rule 3 …Do not compare yourself and your work to others.  Learn to use the tools and mediums and then play and create from your heart. Create to honor and glorify God and then there will be no wrong in it.

Rule 4 … I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 Learning to be content in all circumstances – In plenty and in lack.  Be content, let go if the past can’ts and be prepared to let God lead you into a creative passion that will open your heart further to his wonderful gifts to us.

Think about these things and look around you..what kind of art do you really want to do? Pray about it, ask Him for wisdom and understanding..then get ready for your art to happen.

Stayed Tuned for The Rules for Art – Tools, Mediums and Substrates (what you work on)

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Surviving my First Blog Post – Art and Photography

Accepting Help is Key! After hitting my head against a wall, over and over again; I finally flung up a white flag and posted on a group asking for some assistance. Blessed within minutes by a call from one of the group telling me that she would be happy to help out. Pride will keep us from achieving our goals if we are not careful. This blog is something I had been planning for a year now, doing research, watching tutorials and workshops; making notes..blah..blah..blah…Try as I might, I just could not connect some of the dots; in reality, lots of dots were missing from what was necessary and I just did not know it. Many thanks to Merri Dennis of Caring Hand301 copys, she got me off and running and now all I have to do is think of what to say. Click on her link and check out her blog on blogging. Even if you are not a creative (I would argue with you about that) she can help you set up a blog for whatever your voice is.

Now back to what to say…what was I thinking? Until this moment I had so many thoughts on different blog post ideas, arrgghhhh, can’t find a single one right now other than to tell you a little bit about myself. I am old, really old; at least that is what I have been told by some of the kids at church. Of course to them anyone over the age of 12 is old, so honestly I am really, really old. I love the Lord and have trusted his son Jesus most of my life, I know that he has been with me even when I stepped away or rejected his plan or I would not have survived to this ripe old age. I love my children and grands more than I can say, they are so special to me. I also love art like mixed media, gelli plate, oil painting, watercolor, acrylic painting, crafts and photography so you will see lots of posts about those topics around the posts about my grands..ha! I am not a professional at any of them but I love learning new things and sharing info, tips and ideas with others. I have taken a few classes but other than that I am self taught. Sign up for my email notification and you will stay up to date on all the tips and tricks as I post them. Let me know if you have a question, great idea or tip on art or photography, as I said I love to learn more about those things. Check out my art here and my full photography gallery here.  My gallery tab above will take you to my 2015 Daily Posts, a somewhat daily view of my life via photography.  Please feel free to comment on the photographs.

Footnote..my original liftoff date was March 1 and that got pushed back to April 1…and so without further ado at 11:45 pm..I am uploading my 1st blog post!!

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