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Beauty Cheers the Heart

Beauty Cheers the Heart

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

White scenes of winter soothe me because I grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed a wonderful childhood full of love, play, and no worries. These days, I grieve for children who do not have the benefit of a fearless childhood.

I wept watching the news of the school shooting in Florida. So, so tragic! More loss of innocent lives, so full of promise.  And when ordinary people become heroes and pay the ultimate price . . . we feel sympathy for their families and friends.  We see the funerals on the news. I pray for those who mourn everyone lost and injured. And what about the survivors? They’ll never be the same . . but for God’s grace and help.

Below is a photograph of a scene in Kuhmo, Finland. It lifted me into God’s arms because its beauty cheered my heart. I hope it does the same for you. Scroll down . . . This is a real place.

Even though the horrors of evil abound, the beauty, majesty, and reality of God is greater. One day all will be restored and there will be no more evil. Jesus promised. We will live in a restored, new world where Beauty and Goodness is all we will know.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” Proverbs 21:4.

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The God of Great and Small

The God of Great and Small

In a pottery and glass gift shop in the mountains of North Carolina, I came across a tiny piece of glass art and bought it. When I first saw it, I wondered how the artist managed to make something so tiny, about 1/4″ in size, yet with unique, distinctive parts. Its smallness is what made it special to me. I named her “Suzie the flea” because of the joy she gave me. I also saw she had a destiny to fulfill in God’s kingdom of love. Since then, she’s flown by airmail many thousands of miles across the country to bear witness to God’s creative love and favor. The recipients have sent her back to me after she’s lifted their hearts. Suzie represents to me persons who are “little” in God’s kingdom yet each one holds a dear place in His heart.  Their smallness is endearing to Him. These are the hidden ones who stay in the background; they are not in the spotlight of God’s kingdom. He’s jealous to keep them there for His own reasons. I take great comfort in that. No more striving to be someone I am not. I am confident in this alone: God favors me and has destined to use me with messages of His love. I am small, like Suzie. Yet I am dear and can be greatly used in His kingdom. As can you.

 

 

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The Gift of Free Hearts

The Gift of Free Hearts

I’ve been writing The Art of Loving God and an image of two horses running free along a beach persists and just won’t go away. The symbolic idea has been with me since I first thought about this book idea. Today, I finally gave in and sought God to help me see whatever it is He is saying through it. In fact, going a step further, I thought I’d find a photograph of what I have been seeing and share it here. This picture I bought online matches and now I’m pondering deeply what God is saying through it.

I have been writing about the idea that God gave us free wills and what a tremendous power that is. Some call this free will, but the will is governed by the heart. The greatest gift our Creator has given each of us is a free heart. That gift cost Him. God values what freedom means because love, to be real, cannot be forced or manipulated. He knows our hearts lead us in the pursuit of what we hold most dear.

Most of us cannot wrap our minds around the idea that we are, particularly, most dear to God. Once we get it, God becomes most dear to us. Loving the Lord above all is more than obeying the First Commandment. Our hearts are like horses that run wherever they please, but when our hearts find God’s heart, well, think of two horses running and frolicking on the beach.

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Why I Love Poppies

Why I Love Poppies
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Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

My new writing project is stretching me out of my comfort zone but that’s good.  I think because the topic of my book is about deep devotion to Christ and the creative pursuit of God, which is the highest form of art that arises from our soul. My main problem is that an overwhelming amount of content wants a place in my book. It is like a tsunami of living water that I’m trying to tame into a peaceful brook.

Yeah! Anyway, here’s a single quote that rose to the surface today:

 “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer.

While doing some research, I came across this artist, Paul Smith. He brings to life the meaning of this Scripture: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10 NKJV).

This is such a moving testimony. Watch to the very end; God is being glorified through this artist.  You’ll want to share it.

 

 

 

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Treasures of Earth Don’t Compare to God’s Treasures

Treasures of Earth Don’t Compare to God’s Treasures

Last week I vacationed at the beach in South Carolina. Looking down from an eighth floor condo at the ocean, I noticed a guy with a metal detector on the shore looking for buried treasures. He stepped slowly, methodically swinging his contraption back and forth in front of him, his head cast downward, eyes fixed on the ground in front of him. Something inside me felt sorry for him. I wondered how much time and hope he put into his pursuit of beachcombing. All around him was a breathtaking, majestic scene–one I had driven hours in order to see and experience.

Gazing out at the horizon made my soul soar. The sun rose in the morning sky of scattered clouds, casting a heavenly golden hue on everything; the sound of the steady waves pounded the shore, the gentle beeze added to the beauty of the hour. The beach was rather solitary because it was not a warm day, not yet the tourist season.

God quickened my heart to see a parable because the beachcomber was in my view and experience at the moment. So often, we walk around without noticing the beauty and living art God is painting and orchestrating all around us. We are too busy with our eyes cast down. We put our hope on finding treasures of Earth. We miss so much when we are like this, oblivious to the wonders around us. Really, all we need to do is look up. Look around. Notice the miracles of creation and life God is orchestrating for us, for our hearts, minds, and souls. He is saying, “I am here.”

I don’t want to live like the beachcomber. I want to look up, be attentive and see and experience what God is communicating to me through my surroundings and find my treasure in things from above.

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