Creativity

Creativity

the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships,or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods,interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination……

I love when children create.  Their ideas and inhibitions to produce their masterpiece brings us great delight!  My youngest daughter, like most little girls, is going through the fashion designer stage.  She has created this book of clothing, in which, she has designed.  I encouraged her to take the pen and paper version and create something. So, on a very busy day, she wanted to head to the fabric shop.  I told her we could not make that happen today, but would make time on a different day.

There was no stopping this creative mind!  She decided to take an old shirt, some scissors, needle and thread, along with fabric paint, and create her fancy designs! Thanks to a grandma who lives with us, her creative mind was nurtured as they worked together.  I’m thinking this mom needs to find a sewing class to keep this passion nurtured!  🙂

Where has your creativity gone?  As adults, we are tempted to fall prey to the same old same old.  We also, if we are honest with ourselves, are afraid of our creations not being perfect or like our friend’s, who seems to have all the talent. Forget that!

Just like the song, “I hope you dance!”, and Brene’ Brown’s message of being vulnerable without fear of judgment,

and God’s message to you–

Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

If you have read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, a message he shared was to write, create, sing, dance, whatever God is calling you to do, for HIM–JESUS–

Write even if no one buys your book

Sing even if no one is listening

Dance as if no one is watching

Make a shirt to wear even if you never see it on the Kohl’s rack!

CREATE because God is filling you with joy to do so!  Think of the beautiful creativity in God’s world around you.  The bird builds a nest and sings his song.

Oh that we would worship in the creative joy of Jesus!  God!  CREATION!  He created all things! He wants you to create and enjoy this God-given ability and desire to create because you are created in HIS IMAGE!  Praise the Lord!

God is right here.  Call to Him!  Seek Him! Pray for unsearchable things you do not know, and He will light the fire of creativity in your mind and soul using His Word and love for you.  It may not be something tangible.  Maybe God is calling you to create more kindness in your life, and gentle words spoken.  Maybe He is calling you to encourage someone else’s creativity?  Just know, you do not have to be a Michelangelo. God’s creativity in you is His story in YOUR life….

Go be creative!

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She made her mom a sweat headband for exercise time!

A PRETTY SHIRT!

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Want versus Need and Trust

Want versus Need

I read an article in which only 20 percent of those who purchased gym memberships in January will stay and continue their goal to lose weight and exercise.  Where did all the others go?  The 80 percent began their journey with a want and not a need.  As I was travelling in the rain, tired, and questioning my absence from home, God spoke to my heart about this article.  “You either want this for surface reasons that fade away quickly when it gets really hard, or you need this.”  We need water for hydration.  We need food for energy and work.  We need exercise to keep muscles, bones, and organs working properly.

We are a funny people.  We complain and fuss about the things that bring us the greatest benefit.  A wonderful Christian speaker shared that once she saw the need in her life to take care of her physical health it became part of her day.  She refused to lament and complain, she just went without attaching feelings and emotions.

Change your mindset.  Make taking care of your temple a need, not a want.  I’ve purposefully incorporated worship within my exercise.  The Spirit and I commune and pray as I work each muscle in my body.  I thank God for my temple, and worship Him with hands raised, legs lifted, heart beat pounding, and sweat pouring forth.  I am not my own, and I thank God for the temple He has created to bring Him glory.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.  I Corinthians 6:19

God I will trust you in _____________________.

Our church is reading a book entitled “The Story”.  Last Sunday we studied chapter two–Abraham. One of my favorite people.  I can’t wait to see him in heaven and do lunch! Abraham modeled incredible faith and trust.  He trusted God for direction when direction was not given.  He trusted God for a child, when the barren years haunted them.  He trusted God for provision when he was asked to commit the ultimate sacrifice.  Because of his trust, a nation was built, and we are part of his work, his legacy.

 

I guess you had to be at the sermon, but the word “trust” has become so meaningful to me.  I’m the type of person who can fret over a stressful meeting.  How can God challenge me to do bigger things, if I whimper like Piglet to Pooh… “IIIIIIIIIIIIII’m afraid, PPPPPPPPPPooooh!”  There were times that Abraham cried out to God, but he moved, acted, and did with his fear, mistakes and all.  We do it afraid.  We trust.  We believe.

Defining Trust:

a :  assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

b :  one in which confidence is placed

a :  dependence on something future or contingent: hope

b :  reliance on future payment for property

So, if God is commanding us to trust Him.  This is our prayer:
God I am assured and rely totally on your character, ability, strength, and the truth of your word.  I place my confidence in you, not my feelings or man.  I know that I have a future and a hope because of Your love for me, and Your promises.  My future payment and property are placed in those things above–heaven, Your Word, and my eternal life with You.  God I will trust you in ________________.  #Godsgotthis!
Amen

 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.  Galatians 3:9

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Here is a great activity for your small group!  Website is below, along with the recipe from the website.  We talked about the importance of “being the fragrance of Christ” in our world!  We encouraged each other to pray for this fragrance every time we used it!

Thank you Kendall for the great idea and bringing all the ingredients!  What a blessing and fun to make!  We can’t wait to use it!!!!

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Taken from:  http://www.krystaslifeinfood.com/2012/07/recipe-for-silky-summer-legs.html
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1 1/4 cups sugar 
1/2 cups oil of your choice *(see note below on which types to use)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
 
Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl
We added a verse to the tub of the individual containers:
For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing… 2 Corinthians 2:15
*Neutral oil works better since it doesn’t smell. If you happen to have almond oil or coconut oil that would work best because it smells heavenly, but grape seed and olive oil work just as well*
Step 1- Soak legs in warm water for 5 minutes
Step 2- Shave legs (you can do this without soap or with, doesn’t mater)
Step 3- Rub sugar scrub onto your legs and give yourself a mini massage
Step 4- Rinse scrub off legs
Step 5- Shave again, rinsing razor every now and again as dead skin and oil will build up on it
Step 6- Get out of the tub and lotion up
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Take

If you had one day left to live on this earth, who would you invite over to your home to sit and break bread together one last time?  Jesus invited a group of uneducated, radical misfits, and ragamuffins to break bread and drink of the wine.  This group he called servants or pupils became “his friends”, according to John, who sat at the table with Jesus.  This group of so-called friends who would deny him, betray him, and fall asleep during the critical hour of Jesus’ ministry, were the same friends that Jesus bent down and washed their feet.  Oh Jesus, that we would be that forgiving and loving toward each other.  Teach us, Lord, to love and seek to serve, not judge and criticize.  Give us your eyes and heart.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 in the Old Testament foretold this moment.  God said that he would make a “NEW covenant….I will put my law WITHIN them; and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

As Jesus changed the Passover to the new covenant with his friends, they were confused.  They thought Jesus would come to take over and conquer.  They anticipated the meal to be a time of celebration and culmination of His rule!  Yet, Jesus says to them, “Take; this is my body.”  Then He took the cup, and after giving thanks He gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

Take of me….

Jesus’ work was not going to be “Let’s go set them straight”(I must be right), or “Let’s go and take from others, so we can rule!”(I must be in control, and you wont get away with this!), or “Let’s give up, it’s too hard.”(apathy, hopelessness).

Jesus had all the reasons in the world to be disillusioned, frustrated, cynical, and justified to walk away from these “friends”, ministry, or life.  Yet, in His divine mercy and grace, He not only washed their feet, He gave of himself, His very body–take all of me……

Take of me…eat…..drink…..

This act of love, this free gift, is a new covenant for us, in which, we can have the glory of Jesus’ love and work to reside and live within us, just like God said would happen in Jeremiah.  Oh what ignorance and unfathomable pride to reject such love that changes us for eternity!  Jesus calls us friend–us, the misfits, ragamuffins, radicals…..

Each time we partake of the Holy Communion or Eucharist (from the Greek word for thanksgiving), we are giving thanks for this unrelenting love and act of grace.  We are remembering, but we are also looking forward to chains broken, doors opening, and healing taking place.

Receiving this gift of love in a deep and personal way–in the secret places of our heart with Jesus, molds us to be more like Him, so we can say, “Take……..”  It opens our hearts to forgiveness, to accepting instead of judging, to being the fragrance of Christ to a lost and hurting soul, and to passionate pursuits!

The religious people of Jesus’ ministry had the law ever before the people as a checklist of “do’s and don’ts” to judge and scorn.  Jesus came to provide a new way, a new covenant, in which, His love and message would reside within us, and He would be our God, and we would be His people.  His message is for all mankind to know the amazing grace of His perfect love.  He calls us friend.

Today, remember that Jesus desires to call you friend regardless of your past, or where you find yourself in your relationship with Him.  If you are like Peter denying Him, Jesus calls you friend.  If you have never accepted this friendship, it’s a free gift available in this very moment.  You only need to ask Him, and seek Him.

If you are disillusioned by the world around you and the friendships that hurt, fall on your knees and talk to your perfect friend–Jesus, and ask Him to help you see them as He sees them.  Ask Jesus to give you the courage and strength to say, “Take……”

Below are clips from The Passion that emphasizes this message with deeper meaning.  The Spirit awakened my soul this morning to this beautiful message through reflection, confession, study and video.  Thank you Jesus.  Jesus told His friends that they could not go where He was going and left them with a commandment–“Love one another.”

(The video is non-violent)

Wonderment

“Mommy!  You’ve got to come see this!”  My little one came running up the stairs this morning with the biggest smile of wonderment and joy, begging me, as she grabbed my hand, to see God’s glorious handiwork written in the morning sky–the sunrise! That sweet girl knows how to break away the cynicism and melt my heart.  Thank you Jesus for our children.

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My heart aches for her child-like faith and joy to remain.  How can I cultivate this in our home?  Lord, bring back the joy of my salvation and renew a right Spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and may I come to you just as a child–running with joy and wonderment sincerely pouring out of my soul.

wonderment a state of awed admiration or respect

Isaiah 29:13

And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,

The Living Bible says this:

And so the Lord says, “Since these people say they are mine but they do not obey me, and since their worship amounts to mere words learned by rote,

A prayer:

Lord, may our hearts be drawn to you–not just our mouth and things we’ve learned by rote.  I don’t want to go through the motions, or “play church”.  Lord, I want more of you in an intentional and meaningful way.  Bring me to the secret places and teach me. Lord, show me where I am disobedient, and bring correction.  Teach me Your ways so that I can live in the wonderment of Your perfect peace and love.  Amen

 

The Secret Things

Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was well in age when she became pregnant with him.  A barren woman was blessed by God and…

After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

A New Year has come, and even if you don’t like resolutions, your mind and heart seem to ponder the past, and look toward the future with thoughts of change, or betterment.

God brought several messages and studies together for me during this new season.

We often become “pregnant” with God dreams and goals.

In this “pregnancy” we must be willing to go the course and endure the hardships along with the joys.

Elizabeth, upon becoming pregnant, went into seclusion for 5 months to ponder, learn, and praise her heavenly Father for the God-sized dream!

God’s Word is told to us in the secret–our quiet time, and there comes a time to share with others, so they can become encouraged (the rooftops)!

What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luke 12:3

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Five months are January – May.  As I counted those months after hearing a speaker share the message of Elizabeth’s seclusion with the Lord, I realized that the next five months of my life I’m very much pregnant with many things–school and graduation in May after three laborious years, a full-time job,  a daughter to be wed, a desire to go deeper with God, motivation to take better care of my temple–my body, a junior in high school, and my littlest in her last years of elementary school.

There is nothing special about my list.  If you were to take the time to imagine your next five months, you would write a list of your life……..

How can I be in seclusion, Lord, with all the responsibilities that are before me?  So, today, January 2, 2015, I believe God has shared with my heart, that seclusion is not always a physical place, but is most definitely a spiritual place.  It’s your mindset, your thoughts, your first priority to seek Him in the secret places.  Secret places….like in the sweet quiet of an early morning sunrise and God’s Word in your lap, but also, secret places in the middle of the chaos.  He is there, too, whispering and sharing His purpose to our souls, in the midst of conflict, disappointment, rejection, sickness, apathy, and exhaustion.  He is there.

Personally, that means saying no to some things, being more present in the moment, making time for the important things, not comparing myself to others and where they are in life, and resting in His plan for me and my family.

The last message I heard that wrapped all of this up, was a woman who talked about resting in God’s plan for you.  No questioning, comparing, wondering, worrying, fixing, or over-analyzing.  This is my moment, my day, my week that God has ordained for my family, and I will rest in it, knowing that His plan for me is filled with Hope.

The Story–The Bible as one continuing story of God and His people, by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee is a church read for us right now.  I’m learning lots of secrets. 🙂

The Story for Children had a parent note that touched my soul.  When my littlest was reading it with her friend, I wondered what compelled her to ask if she could read the parent letter…..the Holy Spirit…..revealing secrets to my soul….

…..To show that each one of us has a unique place in a much larger story……Our prayer is that these stories will compel your child’s fascination with Scripture, lay a foundation for a life of faith, and remind them:  “The Word of God is living and active….” Hebrews 4:12

What’s your story?  What unique things about you does God want to cultivate and use? Go into seclusion with your “pregnancy”, and know that His living Word will be there to lift you, and give you the discernment and action to encourage others!  May we all be about lifting the souls and arms of our brothers and sisters in Christ–supporting their uniqueness!

So, no matter the list of things to do, remember to rest in the promises of God.  He is faithful.

A resource for your driving time!  A great devotional CD for only 5.00 from Lifeway!

http://www.lifeway.com/Product/lifeway-women-audio-devotional-cd-p005526298