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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

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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Seeing the World with Sylas

It’s already springtime in Charlotte and so I took little Sylas out for a stroll. He learned to walk about four weeks ago. Imagine if a 1 ½-year-old walked out of his house and went on his own. That’s how I wanted him to feel. Except, I would be there to redirect him if needed. No coaxing, no hand-holding. This was his own excursion.

I let him wander. Grandmother hen hovered only two to five steps behind him. This was the first time he was free to go wherever his heart desired in the wide, open world. Just watching him was the greatest joy. A thought occurred to me: This is what God does with us every day.

Sy never stopped moving except when he came upon something he couldn’t pass by. First stop: purple and yellow pansies in a flowerbed close to the corner. He stopped, squatted, and touched them gently with his fingers. Then he looked straight up. Way above his head, pink flowering tree branches spread out, boughs full of blooming clusters, swaying in the warm breeze. He gazed at them until I lifted him up. Reaching up, he touched the flowers with kind, playful, fingers. I don’t believe he had ever seen a real flower close up. I saw such an expression of wonder on his face; it was so touching. I wish I could be like him and see God’s wonders as if for the first time.  God must wish this, too.

We came to a curb at the end of a sidewalk. I patiently watched him sit down, turn around, and manage it going backwards. I could have helped him in one swift movement, but it seemed important to let him do it himself. At this thought, I felt God smiling.

Next, we came across a giant toy car parked along the sidewalk. Shiny and bright yellow, it looked new. It was a VW Beetle. (I wish I had one.)  The way he reacted at his first sight of it was adorable. I felt sure this was more amazing to Sylas than the flowers. He maneuvered himself down the curb and stepped up to the car’s back tail light. He pushed it repeatedly with his index finger. He knew it should do something. Next, he felt the tires. The rubber was different than he expected. He looked closely. He felt the grooves and the outside roundness of the tire. He touched the ornate hubcap. Then he toddled around to the back of the car again and he began pushing against the fender. Alas, even after a bit of effort, it was still a no-go. The car wouldn’t budge. Next, he walked around the vehicle on the street side, not lifting his hand from it until he reached the front. He backed up a little to take in the view of the entire car.

I was so enamored by him while watching all of this unfold. I know how Sylas feels about cars. They are his favorite toys. He likes to poke at their undersides with pens that look like his daddy’s small screwdriver. He makes the cars go vroom with his voice. And, if it has batteries, he’s non-tiring in chasing after it. Until today, he didn’t know a car could be so gigantic. It was a discovery he made for himself.

When he was ready, Sylas took to roaming down the middle of the quiet street. I gently guided him to the safety of the sidewalk and we headed home, although I had to carry him for the last stretch.  Isn’t this a parable of how it is with God and each of us?

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