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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CELEBRATION!!!

Celebration!!!

Today, I welcome you into an incredible portion of my life story. I hope in reading it, you allow God into past areas of your life  where somehow you got “stuck”.  Our God loves to redeem past pain. He loves to set His children free.

I recently attended a conference sponsored at our church.~  The Vineyard Regional Women’s Conference – Engaging In the Kingdom 2018.  As usual, our  co-pastor Brenda Gatlin breaks the ice with wonderful contests and really fun prizes.

The announcement  came for one of the most loved contests –The DANCE OFF!  My whole being said, “YES I am doing this.”  Since, only four people would be able to participate,  I dashed past the ladies in my row,  ran toward the stage and bound up the stairs..  Thankfully no one was in my way and I did not trip.  My friends were thoroughly surprised by my wild gallop.  This was a bit beyond even my fun character. “What is Sandi doing?”

I made the number four count, but I also felt there might be more to this for me than just the Dance Off contest.

When it was my turn for introductions, I said in a bold and cocky manner, “My name is Sandi, and I am from here”, as I pointed my forefinger proudly to the stage indicating I was from the Duluth Vineyard.

Brenda started giving instructions as to where we were to dance on the stage and for how long. At this point, I began to warm up looking as though I meant business.  Doing stretches, twists, bends, toe touching, etc.    I was totally into the part.

The very active modern music began. The first women were fantastic.  Everyone was clapping and moving in time to the beat. My turn came.  DANCING QUEEN!  I moved and grooved   It was very unlike what was expected from me.  (my pore abs hurt the next day) . It was wonderful though.  The freedom I experienced was a gift of joy and celebration.

No inhibitions. No fear of what other people thought.

 This was just the beginning.

Remember when I said God might take you to a past hurt and release a place where you got stuck. That is exactly what my happened with this dance contest.

When we began the next part of worship (  the vocal worship) after the contests were over,  I became overwhelmed by something inside my soul. I started to weep. God brought to my mind the little girl who was reprimanded for dancing.. This little girl was dancing, bouncing around while family movies were being  taken.   The words that were said left a bitter, lasting effect, “You are just trying to draw attention to yourself, Quit showing off”. My small heart  took on a meaning:

 “Is it bad to express what is inside? Is spontaneous creative expression wrong? Showing off is bad?’

My vocal worship, creative writing, and photographic expression were eventually placed under a microscope glass in fear I would be judged of wrong motives.

During the evening of the conference, different words were spoken over me by my loving Father God -“You no longer wear that label, Sandi. That is not how I see you. You are free.”

WHAT DELIVERANCE!

 The little girl covered with a blanket of shame for freely dancing was set free when I said “Yes” to freely dance with joy.  My Loving Father celebrated with me.

Are there areas in your creative life that are stuck because a word spoken over you damaged your Joy? Did an unintended word placed on a soft heart plant a weed? Has that weed been trying to choke the truly beautiful expression of life God put inside of you?

It’s never too late to dance in the freedom God has waiting for you.  I am 60+ years old. God choose to use this conference at this time to allow me to dance enthusiastically to receive a deep healing I so desperately needed.  You cannot have a hidden pain or shame so deep that God cannot not touch it. I walked in this lie since I was 6 years old or so. It affected how I lived worshiped and created.

 Jeremiah 29: 10-11 The Message (MSG)

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Many times we read Jeremiah 29 verse 11 because we need to know God has our back. The truth is, we need to read 10 as well to know  God sees our deepest need and will never leave a child unloved  or incomplete.

 

 

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Celebrate

Take some quiet time for just God and you.

Be brave and ask yourself some hard questions such as :

  • What keeps me from creating from the truest fashion.?
  • Do I feel really free when I am expressing and creating or is there a slight barrier?
  • Do I blame someone else for my lack of  true freedom?
  • Am I willing to trust God to go deeper to express His real Love and Joy?

As part of the Freedom To Create series, I would like you to  journal and see what determines your  lens on  how you see God and your freedom to create.

 

11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way. Psalm 16 MSG

 

 

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BE

  FREE

TO

  WORSHIP

AS

  YOU

WERE

  CREATED!

 

During your  discoveries if there is something God gave to you,  it might be a nugget we would all benefit from. Consider sharing in the comment space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Little Gift

The Magi slowly lumbered toward the stable. A shining star led them to the quiet Jpeg

little stable.

The animals swayed back and forth as if to an inner rhythm. The men themselves looked grander than anything ever seen in this area before.  The caravan was filled with unique sounds and smells.

 

  • Bells jingling from ornate blankets strewn  across three huge camels, each carrying one of the royal visitors.
  • Pack animals of various sizes loaded  with food supplies unrecognizable to this land.
  • One  designated beast carried  special cargo. The Gifts! A box of precious gold. The oil of frankincense is in an exotic container. The aroma of myrrh can be detected from a third beautifully crafted pot.

 

The Magi traveled a  great distance for one purpose!

TO WORSHIP AND ADORE THE BABY!

. ‘

 

Another visitor to the stable that night is  referred to in a certain Christmas carol, although his story maybe fictional.   For the purpose of this post, I am taking poetic license.  😃

 

Picture a small boy about ten years of age.  In contrast to the Magi’s  royal finery,  this boy’s garb is ragged.   Jacob (my name for the boy),  is attending the sheep with other shepherds on a still quiet evening.  Suddenly the sky opens.  Hosts of angels unable to contain themselves,  explode in joy.  ” Come Adore The Newborn King! Join us in the celebration.” (Angels We Have Heard On High.)

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In obedience to the angels’ words, Jacob and the other shepherds go to the manger..

 

Upon arriving, Jacob could not believe his eyes. The huge beasts, their odd noises, the numbers in the caravan caused Jacob to stare. He saw three men in royal robes, with  exquisite gifts humbly ask if they may enter the stable to see the Baby. The Mother and Father nod.   In reverence, the men  slowly entered, knelt and worshiped.

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We Three Kings of Orient Are.

Jacob’s shoulders sagged. What did he have to offer the this Special  Baby?  Jacob only had his small  drum. He was very poor.  At night, when the sheep were restless, he played and sang.  Jacob’s quiet voice  and soft drumming had a peaceful,  soothing effect  against the anxieties of the day for both sheep and shepherd.  This little gift was God’s gift in him.

 

“I have nothing to share as these  royal gifts. The men are dressed so elegantly.  They are dressed fit for a King. Their gifts are fit for a King. I am small, poorly dressed boy. I would dearly love to worship this wonderful Baby, but I don’t feel worthy. I will peek in and then leave”. Jacob sadly resolved.  His heart was heavy..

 

The animals began to cause a commotion outside the stable. The journey took its toll.   Beasts and the attendees were tired and hungry.  The chaos outside made it  difficult for the baby to fall asleep. The smells were different than the ones in the stable. Too much noise.  The young mother was still uncertain how to  handle a baby. Nothing prepared her for this.

 

Jacob  walked closer to the stable as he dared to peek inside. Tentatively,  he asked the wearied  young mother,” Shall I play for Him on my drum?”

 

The Baby’s mother looked up and nodded. Jacob entered past the sheep and cows to the where the baby lay.  He swung the drum to the front of his small body and drew out two wooden sticks. As  Jacob looked at the Baby, his heart filled. The simple tune he offered were a perfect lullaby so filled with love.  Jacob received a warm smile from The Baby just before the  tiny eyelids finally closed into restful slumber.

The Little Gift Jacob gave to the baby  was God’s Gift  in  Jacob.
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http://www.songlyrics.com/christmas-carols/little-drummer-boy-lyrics/

Comparing  my writing, the number of likes, how big, or creative other blogs are, causes me to to see through a skewed lens possibly even  a dirty one. If I compare, I do not look at another gift through the lens of “what a glorious beautiful offering” or “what can I learn to improve my blessing”.?

 

Destruction to myself and a loss to the world comes when I weigh my gifts  the same way Jacob weighed his gift to the gifts of the Magi.  Jacob saw the beautiful, colorful, expensive  items and smelled the wonderful aromatic gifts beside the baby.   He looked at his drum. The pain in his heart at the smallness of his offering  caused him to reject his gift. “ It is not good enough!” Jacob’s heart moaned.  Jacob  compared through a worldly lens instead of  looking through God’s lens.

 

God created wonderful gifts in each of us. How do you see your gift? Do you see other  writers,  painters,  creators bringing a gift to the manger  that look far more developed and advanced than yours?  Has the enemy lied to you saying your gift really has no value to anyone so why continue?  As you compare to others, have you chosen not even bring your gift to the altar? Are you negating  opportunities  to express His heart and bless others.?

 

Allow yourself to go past the limitations  keeping your gift from flowing.

 

Take time to go slow. Reflect in the joy and simplicity of Our Savior.

 

Follow the star to the manger.JpegIMG_2677  Reflect on the words of the angels to come and adore Him  with the gifts in your heart.

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Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

 

Merry Christmas!!


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Am I Insignificant?

Daily, we walk past what seems small and insignificant to achieve bigger goals. Possibly we see ourselves as small and insignificant with everyone else having a bigger place in the sun than we do. I walked past these itty bitty flowers while walking my dog, Ripley.

 

They had no aroma. Nothing cried out, begging me to  create a story with them. I was going to continue with the rest of my day walking through the plans I had laid out before me.

God had other plans. He saw the beauty in each small petal, because He created it. He knew the significance in the small, even though I was ready to pass right by.

God asked me to  make a choice. Decide yes or no to make an effort,  return with my Macro and work with these gems. I was asked  to create and share what He saw.

Are you willing to do the same thing with your own life? It takes an effort. There is a decision needed to be made to go forward. Making the choice is worth it.  In Jesus, no one is insignificant.
You are a dynamic story.
BE
Free
To
Worship
As
You
Were
Created!
Share times where these decisions have called out to you in the comments if you wish. We are all on this journey together.


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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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Look in the Mirror You are a Gift

Last week brought beautiful sunrises to greet the day. When I need to get up at 6:10 AM in order to make sure my son is awake, has breakfast and ready to walk out the door for his ride at 7:10, the colors across the sky are a welcome gift.

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Taking photos at close to the same time on two different days gives the weary winter soul hope that the days are getting longer. The sun is slightly higher in the sky only after a couple of days.  🙂

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Early morning has its benefits.
Grey days with no sunshine did return.. Clouds returned.    One morning brought a different activity. I saw snowflakes dancing here and there coming down from the sky. Did you know  each flake is an individual creation? Beautiful and unique.

IMG_1258If God puts interest into making each white creation unique with a petite existence, can you imagine His delight when creating us? He pours himself into each and everyone of us individually.
In what is referred to as the  SERMON ON THE MOUNT ( Gospel of  Matthew) Jesus shares –“-Look at the wildflowers. They are here one day and gone tomorrow, cut up and thrown into the fire. God still cares for them because He created them.”  This is  sort of my paraphrase.
If God cares for the wildflowers, here today, gone tomorrow, or each unique snowflake that will melt after a temperature of 32 , degrees, think of the care and concern God DAILY puts into you. You reflect Him.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? When I look in the mirror and am caught up in a world of “me” and “me alone”. I see this:
1 FEAR
2 SELFISHNESS
3 COMPARING MY WRITING TO OTHERS
4 UGLY
5 PERFECTIONISM
6 BAD MOM/WIFE
7 ICK

That is looking through my own eyes. I do not look in the mirror being aware of God’s daily presence in and with me. Do you see similar characteristics?

What happens if you look in the mirror through the eyes of God’s presence surrounding you?
Do it again only through the eyes of this quote by Brother Lawrence:

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God: those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it
Being aware of whom I am and I am a unique one of a kind gift He has created, causes me to seek His heart for that gift. Experience Him and share what I experience.  Not in a prideful know it all manner because it is not me. It is all because I am looking through His Eyes.
Seeking His heart causes me to be able to enjoy the beautiful sunrise mornings as His gifts. I capture them in photos.

IMG_1453 Seeking His heart causes me to see the wonder in a snowflake on a grey day, and realize each is a unique creation,.

 

IMG_1468IMG_1594Seeking His heart, His presence continually makes me want to know more about ways to dream, to create to express the wonder that He has made me with no limits. In the unique way He created me to share and worship Him.

It allows me to look again in the mirror and enjoy the gift of me.IMG_1571

Look in the mirror for yourself again. Thank God for the gift He created. Ask Him (with the help of the Holy Spirit) how you can pour that part of Himself into others. Enjoy Your Gift. Thank you for letting me share part of mine with you today.