Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


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BEAUTY FOR ASHES

Is. 40: 28 – 29 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.   NIV
Is: 55: 8-11“I don’t think the way you think.The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as surpasses the way you work the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.  MSG

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. raining dayIMG_0775IMG_1917    Pro.3: 5-6 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.   MSG

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God brings lights to darkness when at the exact proper time it is needed. Beauty for Ashes. to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, (Is. 61:3b)

These four Bible verses reach into the core of pain, craziness, radical conditions we have no control over with a creator who is in control. One who will lead us if we will trust Him.

At a women’s conference I went to in April, a quote from the speaker Anita Frederickson put a perspective on painful experiences that my eyes had not seen before, although I was familiar with the outcome. God does not just take an ugly, hurtful even destroyed situation and make the best out of it. It is BECAUSE of that specific disorder God IS BRINGING THE BEST out of it. Beauty Out of Ashes. Please understand that: It is because of not in spite of.
Review the activities in your life. If you are able to, allow yourself to take a deeper step into the emotional arenas. God never leaves. Even though, I do not have a child who is mentally challenged, my children challenge me a great deal at times.  Even though, I do not have a husband who is abusive or a drunkard, my marriage has it’s challenges as well. My confrontations may be different than yours but do not let that stop you.  What is the life challenge(family, work, promises not kept, joys  suddenly removed) which has blossomed from the darkness to beauty? Are you still in the dark?

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After I was asked not to be on the worship team at church any longer, I experienced a deep fear to reach out from within worship. The reaching out to others in any form of worship hid in a shell, afraid to come out, to express itself. The pain was intense. Time past and fear arose.  I could pray for people. I could minister. I could encourage. The inner expression of my heart in creative worship was locked safe and secure.
God is the Great Creator. He knew the ways He wanted me to Worship and to Create. He knew deep down my desire was still there to Worship and Create.

Beauty out of Ashes.
What happened and is still happening in my walk is to  continually go through doors for intimacy with Him. Deeper intimacy with Him means more of the old me is shedding off. The longing of my heart for that intimacy is to become more alive. As the old long-standing layers of fear, pride, my way of thinking.to obtain answers, and insecurity, are being removed, more of Jesus can truly shine through. This walking is messy and painful. There are parts of these layers that are on pretty thick.
Will I do a perfect job of reflecting the love Jesus is giving me? Probably not.
Will everyone want to see the love  Jesus is giving me? Probably not.
My job is to love and reflect Jesus.

Another quote from the conference that Anita  (our guest speaker) shared is from Mother Teresa. It talks about being you in Jesus to others, even when the return is different than what you expect. This is another example of Beauty for Ashes. God is the one who makes our gifts into a sweet offering. . http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Mother+Teresa+Quotes&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz2-ytff-yff25

The joy I experienced with being on the worship team (and many others in the past) took me to a wonderful brink. God knew my desire to love and worship Him in a far reaching manner. He took the conditions and drew me through them. I would not have considered worshiping in this fashion of word and screen. God took the worship I protectively put in the shell and freed it.   I worship in writing, creating, photography, and dreaming how to express His Love and Freedom for others to enjoy.

Is there a fear inside? Have you hidden a dream so deep you think neither you nor God can remember?
He is the Creator beyond all that we can fathom. He loves us and will always direct our path to the BEST. God Brings Beauty from Ashes.

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GOING INTO DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

Going into Darkness into Light

It was suggested by one of the Creative Arts leaders in our church to have members write stories how God has  brought them from Darkness into Light during the Lenten Season.  This is an extended portion of what I shared.

I walked into darkness seriously questioning if I was walking any longer. I did not start in darkness. My words of encouragement are: Even when you don’t feel it, even if you do not go anywhere in the darkness hold on!
My early and middle time of meditation through this Lenten season was not a joyous period. In fact, I seriously questioned if I was in God’s hand at all.  I could not write which was emotionally painful. Creatives all around me were exploding in many areas. I was in the dark.  The meditations and  scriptures I kept reading on a daily basis were as flat as pancakes. I kept taking in with nothing grabbing me, to speaking to my soul. Nothing  sticking inside long enough to carry me through the whole day.  With nothing sticking, I  had nothing to give out. I felt very irritable and angry. I kept asking God “Why Why was this happening to me,? Was this going to end?”

In the midst of this emotional drama I was struck with a virus that lasted for a couple of weeks. It was painful.  I did not see a glimmer of light even though I continued to faithfully pursue God through the Lenten Meditations.
I looked out my window. I saw leafless branches crisscrossing in front of the sky. The blue was visible.IMG_1757

Normally I like trees. This time the trees were taunting me reflecting the example of the something just standing in the way of clarity. That is exactly how my brain felt.
The time of revelation, the time to walk into light was not happening. Was this form of worship my creative writing being taken from me? I was empty.

In a time of emptiness, when all the walls around me are closing in, the hopeless statements are around all the time.   I went day by day with no gift to give, still searching to God for the release.
I remember sitting on the couch one day, looking out the same long window as before while in the middle of all the confusion and pain. I was met in my loneliness. I was completely empty and that is when God came.

God asked me to take a step into a deeper walk with my Him when the top layer of life does not seem smooth.  Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls; PS 42:7. The waterfalls are loud, no other sound can be heard,IMG_0480

IMG_0481 but as I cry out, God hears me and His response is, ”Will you choose to walk with me Sandi when I ask you too ?”
God takes the hand reaching out to Him, taking on a journey beyond your control if you are willing to trust. In opening myself to God, He shared a portion of His heart with me.
On the Thursday night  before He was dragged out of the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made a phenomenal decision.    He said to His Father, “Not my will but yours”.
For a very long time, I thought this meant “Yes” to the pain and suffering, false accusations, etc. It meant this and more. Jesus agreed to accept the terms of the contract made long ago and abide by it.
This contract decreed Jesus  not only experience the pain as the pure, unblemished sacrificial lamb on the cross in our place.    It was the pain to the separation we need not experience. Jesus walked into the darkness. Father could not look on His Son for the first time because the Son was taking on all of eternities filth, crime, horror, and sin. This was by choice. Jesus love for us. God’s Love for us.

This was the first time in  Eternity  Father/Son who had never known a break in their Love their intimate connection would experience a separation.  They were willing  to experience a darkness as nothing imaginable  because they did not want us to know eternity without the opportunity to know TRUE ETERNAL LOVE.
Jesus,  did not flinch, did not hold a grudge, did not hold anger toward us as He was receiving each and every hate filled accusation of being a blasphemer. Each blow, spit or nail pounded into his flesh was not returned with an outcry of resentment. Jesus looked at His accusers from the past, the present and into the future which includes you and me with love, forgiveness and hope because this is where the restitution of eternal intimacy between God and His children began. Finally no more barriers on God’s End.
For a brief moment in time the closest intimate relationship was severed. This was by choice. This was by love. This was because the love for me was deeper. The break was intense. The break was severe. The break caused purification so I would not be separated from my Heavenly Father who truly loves me. The break abolished any lasting ties that Satan had over me.
This is the freedom bought for me. I don’t always walk in it. I don’t always hear it. That does discount it being a fact and truth.. This love is far greater than anyone can ever imagine.
God opened to me in my thread of emptiness the truth of my freedom to worship God with no barriers now and forever.
The Father/Son hand is always extended to me. They know my heart’s desire is to take me deeper into their love no matter the cost. I am glad they take me at my word. They do not leave me. Rather they are persistently willing to take off layers so I can see.
I received a dark to light gift. It is not for me alone. Take into your hearts the love the Father and Son have for you. They were willing to allow a break of their intense Holy Love because of their love for me- for you.

Receive the Restoration in the Resurrection. Jesus did not stay in the Tomb. Receive the light. Jesus has risen. IMG_1666