Excel Still More



Sometimes I create art for fun, sometimes to challenge my skills but more often than not I create a piece of art because of something amazing

that I have read in the Bible.

In Paul's first letter to the Christians in Thessalonica  he closes it by encouraging them to excel still more in how they

live and please God.

As you continue on in the fourth chapter HE SAYS IT AGAIN.  Once is good...but twice says to me pay attention!  I get the idea that

Paul is saying,

don't get comfortable in your walk with God, strive to do extremely well....

every minute

of every day

until it is your last.

Consider this a little visual encouragement that in all you do...excel still more!

What's in a Word?

   Happy New Year!

I am glad we are done with 2013...I don't have any specific reason, but I was relieved when the clock struck midnight and a new year was welcomed in.

Naturally because it is the new year there are countless discussions online and elsewhere about making resolutions and setting goals for this brand new year...have you made any?  I am not sure if this is a new phenomenon but I have been seeing many people sharing their word for 2014.  This one word represents to them a direction they want to go, a perspective they want to maintain or grow in...whatever that word is, it is their word that they hope will influence this coming year for them.

I loved this idea!  So many of the things that I struggle with are battled out in my mind.  Can you relate?  So, this one word could be like guard rails for my thoughts that help keep me on the path that the Lord has marked out for me.  Wow, this concept encouraged me to pray and ponder what word would the Lord have me focus on this year...where are those guard rails most needed?  I love to ask God something, and to be blown away by how He answers.  The word Assurance started swirling around in my mind, then before I knew it I was singing the beautiful hymn by Fanny Crosby  "Blessed Assurance".  OK so it is two words, but it is definitely the area that I would most like to grow in this year.  I love how she sums up the assurance we have in Christ in this stanza...as I meditate on MY words this year, this is what I will think about...


Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!  O what a foretaste of glory divine.  Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood...lost in His love!

Blessed Assurance encourages me to consider only Christ.  Not my fears, not my failings...not my feelings. I have to say that I am excited.  I am looking forward to what this year brings and how I will grow in Blessed Assurance.

My prayer for you is that you will find a word (or words) that will challenge you throughout this year to grow and that maybe you too will be lost in His love!

A Tranquil Spirit



What comes to mind when you think of tranquility?  The dictionary definition describes it as a freedom from commotion, tumult or disturbing emotions. For me disturbing emotions sometimes feel like a cloud that continually hovers, pesters and infects my day, sometimes without mercy.

Can you relate?

Isn't it a wonderful blessing that we have God's word to help us battle the commotion and emotions in our lives?  The beautiful light of scripture is both purifying as well as exposing...as I have been finding during the women's Bible study at church.  The study is called Detox...and as you can imagine it conjures up all kinds of visuals.  Detoxing used to be for the drug addicted...now I can go to my local grocery store and find a myriad of products designed to cleanse my body from the strains of my bad habits.  But detoxing is also much needed for my soul as well.  Have you ever considered that bad habits of thought and feeling can build up in your heart in such a way that you can no longer live the life God intended?   So far in the study we have wrestled with things like our feelings of fear, our feelings of envy and feelings of inadequacy. The process sometimes feels like spiritual heart surgery...but one thing I know for sure is that Jehovah Rapha, my Lord that heals, is tenderly and expertly exposing my wounds for what they are, and most graciously giving me the strength to remove them from my life.

And being the visual learner that I am, I was inspired to create this piece of art, so that God's word would be etched onto my heart...the most effective bandage for a wounded heart and the perfect antidote for any further toxic build up.  The tranquil spirit comes from hungering and thirsting for God's word...it becomes a canopy of protection that revives our body (and mind).  But...There is always a but. Envy rots our bones.  Just think of what that would look like. Infection and decay destabilizing the very structure that is intended to hold us up and enables us to function.  When the lack of contentment  births all sorts of envy we end up in one festering, unattractive puddle.  Ick!

My prayer for you is that you would seek Him first!  Cultivate a spirit that is tranquil and serene, because your focus is on God, who IS only and always good!