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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FREEDOM TO CREATE

 

FREEDOM TO CREATE!

In recent posts I have  challenged your creativity.

I even asked you the question : WHY CREATE?

in three separate posts.

 

As you read these blogs, I hope more than one issue came to mind.

Ponder these  two  definitions of “ to create” as per the dictionary:

1 .to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.

2 .to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

Create

 

Now comes another step in your creative process.

Soul-searching!

I put these next queries to  free your inner being so you can create from a deeper level. They are not to be taken lightly. Do not answer them quickly.  Allow yourself  time for each question and write your answers  down.

 

  • Who are you creating for? (Maybe the proper grammar should be: for whom are you creating?)
  • What are you creating for?
  • Did God put a cause on your heart at one time but you did not know how creativity and art could connect? Do you go to an article concerning that cause if it comes in the paper? i.e trafficking, ecology,  pain,.
  • Is justice for a certain group of people crying out to be heard, but you wonder if  you can express what you feel through art? You want to be challenging but not do you need to sound  angry? i.e.senior citizens, abused children, racism.
  • You know God calls us to serve, but creating is your passion. Are they opposites?
  • Do you spend time in God’s presence? Do you seek His heart for the inspiration to create? Do you listen as He calls you to create? Is there obedience to His voice in life and art?IMG_2677

 

As artists, we draw out truth, we live truth. That is where we have the freedom to create. As artists with a relationship with Jesus,  we are able to not only have an honest, intimate connection with Jesus; we can express that relationship through our art in truth. We are also called to serve. We are able to take this reality to a world defined by another signature. The world needs to know a deeper truth. Art that touches the soul, and is lived out by the artist speaks volumes.  Jpeg

 

This will not come automatically.

  • Knowing who you are IN HIM will bring you a freedom to create.
  • Developing the creativity He has called you into will bring you a freedom to create.
  • Living in a community that loves supports and pursues the Heart of God can bring you freedom to create.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection or what is happening in the world. This may open a door to your freedom to create.

 

Jpeg

 

April is National Poetry Month. Here are a couple of links to challenge your FREEDOM.  Until recently, I would not have tried my hand at poetry. I realized even if the work is not published, this type of word construction in its various forms is a fantastic way to free your mind. You are able to express anything concerning everything. —–

                  Love

                               Pain

                                             Joy

                                                        Death

 

Check out these links:

April is National Poetry Month  This link is for grade students k-12.

National Poetry Month  This link goes to the official poetry website to find out how to get involved.

Some of my poetry and photos are combined on Instagram: sandicreate

Try out your own poetry.

 

We are given the FREEDOM TO CREATE.Be free to worship as you were created

You are welcome to share your challenges if you wish or your thoughts on how creativity/art can positively affect bringing the reality of Jesus to a world in turmoil.If is is happening in your town, your suggestions may help another reader. Thanks.

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Creating is a Challenge

Enjoy-a-beautiful-day-at-go

Reading books by noted authors depicting their challenges (emotional and physical ) may cause you to second guess if being creative is actually what  you want to sink your teeth into.  The encouragement you were looking for, the kudos, the high fives to satisfy an unmet need might be smacked with their own angst describing  their own stress while trying to complete a project.

A short book  “THE WRITING LIFE” by Annie Dillard is a great read describing the normal non glorious life in the actual procedure of being a writer.  To accomplish your literary art you need to do two things.-

  1. Sit Down.
  2. Put words on the screen or the paper.

Does that sound very exciting? What if the words do not come? What if the line of words you put down one minute look horrible the next and you wasted half of an hour of your  time? (the dishes are calling to be washed).

You have been called to express. It is part of your inner being. If the life you live has also said “Yes” to Jesus, you have  said yes to  bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.  Your calling is to Create for the Kingdom.

You NEED   to create ( I am not limiting this to writing. Put whatever God is calling to you to do)

These quotes  from Annie’s book can apply to all creatives.

 “’One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it lose it all, right away, every time.’ 1

‘The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now.’ 2

‘Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.’” 3

What is creativity to you?

Little snow person

Is it putting words on paper? Any student in a sophomore English class can do that to pass a class. Taking pictures with a point and shoot camera?  All the aunts coming to the summer reunion can do the same thing.    A creative has a deep desire to take a rough path expressing life through words, will embark on an artistic adventure with the canvas,  will  see through a lens and  express what they see with their souls.

   Creativity is worship.IMG_4602

The two book, I mentioned in my last post,  The Creative Call  by Janice Elsheimer and a million little ways by Emily p. Freeman  have been great helps in freeing my creative thinking process.  I am going to propose to you a statement simultaneously approached in both books.   This statement does not deal with a certain technique or style. It does not give you tips on building your platform. This connects you and your creativity.

In the comment line below, feel free to finish this statement:

The words that reflect how I feel  in/when creating are:

Be as candid as you wish. If you are honest, the response may surprise you.

I will share a few of my own to get you going.

Humble, (I get to play in God’s  Kingdom  )

Awestruck (This is fantastic)

WOW ( Did I write that? Did that come from my camera? COOL)

Excited( Ideas, Feelings, Emotions, flows around  my head. With typing and writing , a tangible essence appears)

Worshipful (Taking the beauty I receive both  easy or harsh.  I make a tangible sacrifice of praise.)

Full of wonder!

Fearful (Am I really supposed to be doing this?)

Guilty (This is not really serving.)

Not good enough.  Not bringing in money –( Comparing my work to others so the time and money I spend is really  a waste.)

With thoughts such as these, no wonder the full creative flow of many people is being hindered.

In the artists, when the the burning fire of creativity is hindered by frostiness of negative emotions, nothing can flow.

Where are you in your creative process?  As you have allowed the reality of creativity to be come alive within you, do you see God taking you on a path of deeper freedom?  Not “only to make, but also to create”

To be an artist is a challenge.Another-view-of-frozen-Goos

Life and creativity is a challenge

Allow God to gently pull back the carpet in areas He wants to bring healing.  The feelings of guilt, comparison, not good enough, and even “this is a waste of time and money” may be a result of how you feel about yourself. Does God want to set you free concerning deeper issues?

Take time ,#goslow. What is God doing to make you become more the creative He intended for you in the first place? Annie Dillard states that sadly we can limit the freedom God wants to express through us.

Engage in what God is doing in you!

The artist, writer, creative He has called you to be has a purpose in His Kingdom. The more we are free of the junk clogging our pipes, we are able to receive and flow with joy in the gifts God gave to us.

10 “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.

                                                                                            Exodus 35: 10 NIV

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Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

Two extra  thoughts to ponder

  • Are you limiting yourself in creating with total abandonment because of inner fears i.e.  rejection, comparison, or past family comments?
  • Do you keep from completing projects for the same reasons or have you just lost your dream?

Feel free to leave your thoughts on this subject. We are all this road to discover and release our creativity together.

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1Annie Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE, ( New York :Harper Perennial )  ©1990  p.78

2Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE,p78

3Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE, p79


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GRACE- IT IS NECESSARY!

IMG_0481Ideas/Thots toward my lasts posts about DOES GOD LOVE THE GOOD GIRL?

Are you the prodigal son or daughter?

Do you identify with Sidney or with Sara?

The “wild girl” seems obvious.   The damage caused to self and others may be  physical, a sickness,  pregnancy, addictions,  or hard earned money now gone forever.  An ugly problem comes up   with possible negative side-effects which need to be dealt with.

The “good girl” reflects one who obeys and appreciates the rules set before her. Does anyone  want her to change? It seems to benefit everyone. Family, society, church. If she keeps the rules, everyone will be happy. Right.?

                                                              WRONG!!!

Without grace both girls look into the mirror only to see the reflection of an empty soul.

Neither one allows herself to walk in the Grace-Filled life God wants to sweep over her. Decisions need to be made. Sidney made that decision. She came home.  Sara,  like many “good girls” was unaware a decision even needs to be made.

What does this mean in my life?   IN  your life?

I grew up in a family where I was the “Good Girl”. I don’t blame anyone. It was what it was. I took the road the most comfortable for me, which was the listener. My books were my playmates.

I developed the attitude of PEACEMAKER. Don’t rock the boat.   I listened.

I went to college. Got a degree in Psychology because of course I had a good listening ear.   Still tried to keep the peace wherever I lived.

Eventually I got married and had two wonderful children.

I believe the listening ear, and enjoying books, eventually lead me to Love and Serve God  the way I do now.

God is so wonderful. He wants  relationship. He is not satisfied with a  GOOD GIRL servant.

I was unaware I lived under the Good Girl label. emily p. freeman’s book grace for the GOOD GIRL  revealed the  masks I picked for protection  😦 Peacemaker, People-pleasing, looking for the smiles, Don’t rock the boat.

God’s love for me is constantly revealing His Care. Even at my age,  He still  says “Let’s dance a new dance”.   Slowly, lovingly He is working  through my life, peeling  off  protective layers. Living in grace is not always keeping my mouth shut. If I keep quiet out of fear I will be rejected, I’m telling the person in the mirror, I’m not important.

God says “No. Come and play.

If I say no to a request, am  I still a good person? Am I  still liked and needed?

Saying yes to jobs from a distorted fear can be tiring. Good girls may feel a need respond out of duty. How does one tell  the difference between the good girl who is doing the right thing  in fear of rejection and the the one who is responding out of grace? The actions can be the exact same thing. Answer-Motivation.  In this quote  from emily’s book, she gives a description revealing when walking in and through God’s Grace.= “Good girls see Jesus as someone to copy. Free women listen to the voice of his Spirit who dwells inside us”.

I am the older daughter finding her identity and freedom in Christ. It is not what I do. It is what Jesus did. I am justified through the faithfulness of Christ¹

The reality of this Grace pouring in me is a Life Long Dance.

                                                              I can bloom!

 

 

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Galatians 2:20 MSG

Questions and comments are always welcome. We are all on this journey together.  I’m not completely finished, but I like what I see in the mirror.

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1 Reference to message given at Duluth Vineyard  GOOD NEWS ABOUT FREEDOM May 28-29, 2016.

 

 


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Delight

  26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A+26-27&version=NIV

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I love to watch birds. In fact when visiting relatives in SD this summer, I saw their  bird feeder surrounded by a variety of  beautiful colors and fantastic sounds different than our feathered friends in Duluth. I sat at the dining table  staring out the glass door,  listening, delighting, being blessed in the gifts God was sharing with me.

Worry steals contentment. Ponder slightly on things you allow your mind to worrying about.  Worrying how all the jobs needing to be  finished  will be done completely and perfectly in the allotted time. Worrying what to do with ALL the stuff when downsizing.  What to keep, or should the item go to Goodwill? Or possibly the dump. What if I throw away the item that will later be yelled for to complete a project?   😦

Granted, in the scheme of life, these are trivial worries.  If I cannot  WALK THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH holding God’s hand in these rather small challenges of my life. seeking His Peace and Contentment, there is no way I am going to be able to handle a larger item knowing His Fullness and Grace.

walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6&version=MSG

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Big Worries or little worries-each will take your eyes , my eyes off God’s gentle leading.  Our mind will directly and solely uncomfortably stay on the problem.

Contentment was the topic these last few Sundays at church so it seemed natural to consider asking myself some hard questions.  Am I content? What makes me content.  What makes me stray from being content? ?

When asking God a question dealing with your life, be prepared for serious answers or don’t bother asking.  Somehow, someway, sometime, possibly in a fashion you do not expect, He will answer because of His intense love for you, for me. Isn’t that wonderful?

Earlier posts this summer questioned where my contentment lied. Changes in my home situation and possible lifestyle challenged who is REALLY IN CHARGE.   I could tell from my inner reaction when asked certain answers, not having the answer  and not being OK with that, I realized I was the one who needed to be in charge.

The main point of the messages on CONTENTMENT boiled down to one idea for me.
Contentment is not a Noun or life I fall into. I cannot choose to be content  True, deep lasting Contentment does not  depend on my own resources to achieve it.IMG_2771

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If CONTENTMENT  doesn’t fall on me with the circumstances of a spring day or from my choosing,  how do I get it. People such as Mother Theresa or St. Francis of Assisi appeared to be calm and cool. Are they born that way? No. They needed to go through the same refining fire as everyone else.The Fruits of the Spirit are freely available to us when change and challenge cause contentment to fly south.
Ask yourself what fruit is needed  most in your life when hit in the face with CHANGE. When a CHALLENGE is put square on your plate and worry seems to loom larger  than life, what fruit is God wanting to develop in you to express  His Character. The answer for me was not difficult =
PATIENCE AND PEACE.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/who-am-i-becoming/#sthash.9x0JlyyM.uzQ2dZfC.dpu

God sees my makeup. God knows my needs.

The birds of the air and the wildflowers are beautiful in sight and sound. They are His creation. He delights in them and meets their needs.

God DELIGHTS IN ME. He came to live in me and with me so I could change and Delight in Him.  Contentment does not rest on looking at my reserves. It is keeping my eyes fixed on Him and walking with my hand in His.

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“Men and women may argue and make excuses but it does not change the fact that in our society we are completely surrounded by the ancient curse; everything is recent, transient and temporal. That is why the Holy Spirit whispers faithfully reminding us of the Christ of God Eternity, walking in the flesh. God Almighty comes to live among us and to save, actually to give us eternity. ”   30 Morning With Tozer.  Daily Devotional Readings

CONTENTMENT  resting in the One Who Loves Me. Not so preoccupied in the world and getting but to RESPOND TO GOD AND HIS GIVING. IMG_0775


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Walking Through the Door

At the end of July, I turn sixty-one!!!!.

For me that is a scary proposal. Walking through doors that have never been opened  before. Yes  at times, it causes  a bit of anxiety. ( Senior citizen labels come upon me as I can now qualify for certain discounts. My last child graduated from high school.  No turning back from this stage.) I have gone from working and  unmarried to married and working to married and being a stay at home mom. This final stage has lasted the last 18 years.  As I mentioned before, that job filled my life with ride-sharing to school, making lunches, co-coordinating school schedules for two students.  Helping memorize speeches for contests, going to basketball games etc.  Still being a part of my daughter’s life as she went to college here in Duluth and watching her graduate.  Now my son has graduated from high school and my daughter is in Sicily.

I am looking at my present story through a fog or mist asking a question: What do you want me to do now Lord?

I have days where the air is clear and mind has free direction. My days are basically empty of the aforementioned requirements so therefore I can fly to new heights of adventures.

Suddenly, I crash to the reality of barriers and questions that surround me. The free time can look as much as a fearful space to fill in a positive manner or an abundant gift and blessing .

IMG_2417IMG_2478Creativity and Worship
I am seeking the expression of “me”. I have been  surrounded in raising children for such a long time that this sudden freedom at my age, is internally and mentally challenging.  Ladies I know I am not the only one who experiences  searching a deeper expression of themselves and God in their walk.
I will go back to the previous question. What is causing the barrier for me?
FEAR~~~~~ Fear to step out and take risks. Fear to give myself permission to do what it takes to express and experience the depth, breadth and width of what it takes to walk through this door.
There are possibly some reasonable cautions that stop me at the door. My mind is not as quick. I am not driving as much as I use to so transportation is a challenge to overcome. Exciting adventures to others  have small but physical challenges to me. Not so much fun anymore.
When I was younger, looking the fool was not so terrible. I would laugh. Now it is hard for me to try new things in the fear of  failure.  Having grace for myself has somehow slipped away.
If I have trouble having grace for myself, will others have grace for me, or will I see disgust or worse —pity?  I am not that old.
My daughter Anna is receiving and giving a great life lesson. She is in Sicily working with an organization called OneHope /Cultivate.

Preconceptions she had concerning her ministry are getting revamped. Anna was willing to take a risk. From her risk taking and willingness to learn, others are receiving abundant gifts of love.  (https://acker197.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/weeks-three-four-muffins-details-conversations)
Am I willing to take the risks open to me now?
Fear rears its head to point out what I cannot do. Fear comes out to say I do not have the ability, money, mental capacity needed to explore the  creative ventures I want to pursue. It is beyond me. Give up.
After I am quiet,  and  tears are shed,  I listen to the still small voice in my head that calls to the deeper desire in my heart to express what is inside. I look to what can be done.

 Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

The days I walk in the mist are filled with tears. God does not leave me. His hand is always taking mine. At times we stand still and He just holds me because I do not know where to move.  That is OK. I smile at the patience He has with me.
The encouragement that I want to leave today is:  do not stop dreaming- take your medium. Release from the depths, the freedom of His life you have been given. Take classes and study to get better knowledge of your creative tools. Do not allow your fear to define you.  Do not allow the outside to put barriers on you. (age, fear, negativity, time, preconceptions ). Seek what God wants to say as He draws it out. Worship!!!
Join me in this process of exploration and discovery (writing, creating, photography, worship, being).

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If you are at this stage of discovery, feel free to share a comment on how you have learned to walk through the door. If you can identify in any way,  express a piece of encouragement or post a question.   🙂
IMG_2420Bless Him. Keep Creating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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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