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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Come to me weary number 2

Could there be  reasons to bring out beauty other than benefiting others? God may see a need deep within the soul of the creator for His gentle touch.

Luci Shaw wrote in  BREATH FOR THE BONES,  about a Canadian woman on the prairie in the 1870’s who journal-ed in her diary  the benefits of her quilt-making. “I make them warm to keep my family from freezing; I make them beautiful to keep my heart from breaking.”1 This woman knew the movement of her fingers going through the fabric squares, stitching each cotton scrap together, was the way she loved her family gave them  warmth to survive the frigid winters.

For the quilt maker,  the up and down movement of the needle brought life to her soul. As the different quilting patches bloomed into various quilting patterns before her eyes,  (log cabin, wedding ring, flower basket),  she was able to survive the harsh cold winter. Creativity brought warmth to her soul so she could survive the frigid winters.

” It  (Beauty) fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can”. 2

Why do we need beauty

Creating beauty reaches to the pain and  even does battle against it. We may not set out with head held high waving a banner saying, “ I am going to beat this”, as we write or paint, but we engage in a subtle battle  all the same.  Is it because we did not ask for the fight in the first place?

Do we ask for the pain that strikes with heavy blows without warning?

Depression, Cancer, Chronic Pain?  

As Christians,  if we are honest, the word WHY makes its way into our vocabulary. We live in a world that is not totally redeemed. We are attacked by the same physical and emotional  encounters as people who do not know the Love of Jesus.

The creative Christian  has a unique opportunity to explore and work with God if the artist is opened to hear His Voice.  God gives these artists an opportunity to actually fight through word and other crafts by  bringing a beautiful aromatic rose into view even though it is surrounded in thorns.IMG_0289


A friend of mine was struck with cancer. Depression set in as much of the normal life style she knew seemed to elude her. Even though the cancer itself did not conquer her life and her basic trust in Jesus was still strong, life was so different.

God had big  plans for His daughter.  Beauty was used not only to help relieve her pain  but to pour refreshing waters  into dry areas of her soul. How?


This creative form was introduced to her by her husband. My friend not only discovered the beauty of nature through the camera,  but she slowed down to take in a deeper part of God’s creation through the Macro lens.

Becky's Photo 1 with nameBecky photo 4 with nameBecky's photo 2 with nameBecky's photo 3 with name

Why Create?

For the woman on the prairie it was a matter of survival. The bloom of the creative patterns gave her the ability to “hang on”.  In the words of my friend, “ it was about refocusing and seeing through fresh eyes. The cancer was exhausting and consumed an entire year. one I pretty much lost. Photography helped me. look at the world through fresh eyes. Perspective”


If you read the paper, listen to the news or look at the ticker tape on the TV, pain is an everyday occurrence.  A Christian knows  and lives the truth that God’s Kingdom is present at but we do not always experience  the physical reality of that Kingdom through out every day.

Slowing down and creating  allows the coming together of hearing God’s heart and expressing what is heard.   See His beauty in the flower and capture it in a photo or painting. Through story,  express in words the pain God feels  and the depth of release one can experience in total forgiveness.  As an individual, ask for a new lens to be released from your own previous pain. The result may be in prose  or paintings  setting you  free  to go into  deeper worship.

Sit with Jesus. Spend time in His love for you. During those sweet seasons, express what takes place. It may never be laid out for anyone other than the two of you, but what is created may just be the deepest expression you ever know.










Creating is God’s gift to you and God’s gift through you to others. In these last two posts, review  how is God calling you to go deeper in your creating?   We are on this journey together.


Thank you so much to Luci Shaw and her book BREATH FOR THE BONES. It is very helpful for one wanting to go deeper in creating beauty and engaging with Our Creator.

1 Luci Shaw BREATH FOR THE BONES, Art, Imagination and Spirit. ©2007 p27

2 Ibid p,28




IMG_0627IMG_0629IMG_063248-49 “If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.”

                                                                                                    Luke 6 MSG
The  wind and rain attack without end . The tempest roars. Will I survive the buffet against my inner walls?

This mental and soul filled  storm  is the reality  of nothing less than an inner hurricane.  Chaotic thoughts, being tossed to and fro, wondering whether peace will ever be a day to day experience again.   Does this sound  familiar?  It can happen anytime.  An  attack  can come when you put yourself on the line in a risky situation. You open yourself us to a new situation and with the fervor deep  inside the answer comes out in a  dynamic “YES”.

You take the steps trusting the task ahead will be fulfilled in the way you envision when suddenly, something happens.  The bottom falls out. The sweet dreams you felt would become tangible are now crumbling before your eyes. The solid victory you could plainly see as a way to glorify God has turned sour in the storm. The wind, crashing waves make you  wonder “Did I make the correct decision?”.  Feelings of utter hopelessness and failure cause tears to flow.

The apostles made a decision and said YES to follow a a very Special Man. This Man had the words of Life giving them the hope and confidence He was the Messiah mentioned in the Old  Scriptures. He was the One to bring the salvation and freedom. Now their hopes were dashed as they saw Him hanging on a  cross.  The words given to them of hope, peace, everlasting joy were now turning  into streams of blood  flowing down a wracked  body. Their Friend was dying.

Suddenly the words come, “ It Is Finished” !

The world shakes. The temple curtain is ripped from top to bottom and :


How does one  handle the quiet?





Jesus follower’s were crushed under the weight of this pain. They did not know three days would be the end of their Silence. They longed for a touch and release. They were empty. Was there a  small thread they held on to?

Resurrection Sunday came. The Hallelujah  He has risen broke the silence. The true freedom their hearts longed for had been released.

With the strength and peace of the Holy Spirit, we walk  in days full  victory and freedom. As creatives, we can hear God’s heartbeat to express what He is saying in a very unique way.  We are able to receive His heart to join in the dance.

A creative is very sensitive. We receive and want to flow as a  gift from His heart.

A storm rises. A choice is made which may put my feet on the water.  I begin to sink.

Questions flare about:

  • Inadequacy.
  • Comparison with other creativity.
  • Who reads my posts?
  • Am I wasting my time doing this creative stuff?
  • Creativity is for everyone else but not for me.

Despair, fear and emotional challenges becomes so great I cry out :

“What do you want me to do? GIVE UP? I will if that is what You want.”


The choices in the times of emptiness and loneliness will determine the future of my walk.  God never leaves.  He may be silent. The Joy of His presence may not be obvious. He allows me to cry.  Does that mean I am to quit Worshiping through Creativity? His promises are always true even when the dreams and paths turn out differently than anticipated.

God is Faithful.Crown of thorns three


As creatives who worship,  the enemy will try to use our gifts to shake our foundation. As we write,  when we create story through photography and art, it is all a reflection of our heart to worship our Creator.  The enemy will use the storm to attack our foundation.  The enemy will also use silence and times of the unknown and darkness to rattle our foundation.

 Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
Galatians 5:1 MSG

In the storm and the silence, the foundation built on the intimacy and love of Jesus will weather your life in truth.

You are not alone!









Feel free to share your struggles in this walk of creativity and worship. All of life is creative worship.

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The enemy of our soul reaches into the  areas where loss has occurred, either recently or in the past.   No reverence, never caring,  barreling through grabbing deep to rob previously enjoyed peace.


A few moments before the painful occurrence smacks you in the face, you were simply living life. Possibly playing freely with wild abandonment or walking peacefully in your safe gentle world. It doesn’t matter. We live in a world where there is no preset preparation for what lies ahead.


Recently, a woman at church shared how she and her husband were joyfully expecting the birth of their second child.  Everything was going well. They went on a planned vacation before the joy of life with two little ones would begin.  During the vacation at the start of the second trimester things went horribly wrong.   Without warning, a fun filled vacation day beginning as any other, ended in an unexpected trip to the hospital and tragic news concerning their unborn child.


How does one respond to unexpected news of this sort dumped into one’s story?  Isn’t someone in charge of protecting good people? Couldn’t God keep this little wanted unborn child thriving inside.? The pain was intense. Why did it happen?


It has been a year since the Charleston S.C. Church Massacre (June 17, 2015).  Dylann Roof was warmly welcomed into a bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that fatal evening.  He entered the building with a bible and a hidden .45 -caliber handgun. The people who left their homes for the study never imagined the evening would bring such horror.   Tragically, nine lives ended that night.


How can friends and families respond to that kind of piercing pain? Many doors suddenly closed affecting the stories of this community.  The pain was intense. Why did it happen?


Many years ago, my life was swept up in the joy of worship through vocal expression. I truly enjoyed conveying my love to God and sharing His heart with people in this fashion.  It wasn’t huge, but it gave me great joy.  Suddenly and without warning, that door was unexpectedly closed.


This delightful aspect of sharing my love, my worship was no longer needed. The door was shut. The pain was intense. Why did it happen?


All three incidents were gut wrenching experiences.

The death of a dream

The death of a loved, wanted, unborn child

The senseless deaths of loved ones


Where does one’s heart go in this pain? How does one handle the sudden jolt of waking up one morning to a brand new day in joy only to be thrown into sudden turbulence and death?  The easy slide leans to anger, grief, and pain possibly ending in HATE!


Hate Toward Life

Hate Toward the Gunman

Hate Toward GOD

Is this how it played out in the lives of these people?

In all three incidents, the relationship these people had with Jesus was their solid factor.

I am not saying the pain automatically went away with a few simple words. That would be absurd. I am saying the Son of God chose to walk through the pain with us as we were willing to recognize our need for Him. He saw our insides being bounced around as a tiny boat dashed to and fro against the waves. He not only saw our boat, from afar, He climbed inside with us so we were not alone.IMG_2267

The ones left behind from the Charleston community read the  in their bible many times to “FORGIVE YOUR ENEMIES.”  It was  not automatic. Their coming holidays would be far different than before.  Jesus chose to go to that dark place of pain and walk with them. He wept.

At times, when I no longer was on the worship team and worship songs I once lead were used I wept.  It was painful. I could not understand the choice. Jesus chose to go to that dark pain and walk with me. He wept.

The parents needed to deal with the reality of their painful loss. There was no reason or why.   Jesus chose to go to that dark pain and walk with them. He wept.


Jesus not only reaches out His hand to walk through the pain with us. He chose to weep with us. He is the Vast Comforter completely surrounding us. Jesus is the only one who is able to engage with us as He leads us to the peaceful stream.IMG_0169


After the death of His good friend Lazarus, Jesus was pained, He was troubled. He joined Mary and Martha in their pain. Jesus Wept!  (John 11: 33-35).

John 11:33-35New International Version (NIV)

 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

                                                                35 Jesus wept


Don’t fear waking in the morning. The sky will be blue. The trees will be green. Flowers bloom. This post is not written to make you paranoid of what lies ahead so you are afraid to get out of bed.  It is written to show that we truly have one who chooses to know the intense pain we will go through. All pain.  If you want to open your heart to God in the pain, the size, big or small, is of no consequence. Jesus, the SON OF GOD,  wraps His arms around you.  You are not alone.  Just as Jesus wept with Mary and Martha, He saw their need and brought life. Jesus will weep with you, and bring the life you need.


If you have comments or questions, please feel free to leave them. We can all feel alone. Jesus is always willing to negate that lie if we are willing to bring it to Him. We are on this journey together.

Thanks to the woman who gave me permission to use her story in this blog. Her strength will hopefully be a door to others in dealing with pain.

The facts concerning the occurrence at the Charleston Emanuel AME Church were obtained from an article: THE LONG ROAD TO FORGIVENESS (AARP  Bulletin/Real Possibilities June 2016).

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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


. 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

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?

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.

. IMG_0905