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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Nurture a Reflective Life —Slow Down

Contemplative Photography is taking me into a deeper adventure.   All new adventures bring with it something a  bit daunting. I open the door asking God, what is ahead of  me. As I gaze upon a blooming flower, or see dark clouds cover the sky, is the message being shared reflecting  the beauty of God’s creation alone , or is He motioning me to — Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

Put the words “Nurture a reflective life” and ” Be contemplative in my photography” together.  But how?

SLOW DOWN IN WHAT! SLOW DOWN TO WHAT?

  • Activities?
  • My mind?
  • Walking?

Will this “slowing down” automatically happen if my body stops doing?  Probably not. The mind can frantically race with yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s needs while the body is lying in bed.

Being  reflective  is making an active decision to engage in the surroundings. Going deeper than the top layer.

WHAT IS GOD SAYING?

CAN I FEEL HIS TOUCH, HIS LOVE IN THE GENTLE BREEZE AS IT PASSES BY MY FACE ?

HOW CAN I REFLECT THIS TOUCH IN A PHOTO AND SHARE HIS HEART?

Slow Down and reflect Tammy Morton Photo They teach us to dream

                                                                                      Tammy Morton’s photo entitled:

                                                                                                         ” THEY TEACH US TO DREAM”1

Is it possible to slow down and reflect in the rush  of daily activities?  In the course of routine housework, am I willing to mentally or emotionally slow down, take God’s  hand and reflect on His Words to me?  The beauty of nature, color all around,  waves of the lake lapping against the rocks, a walk through the woods,

 

have a greater  intensity for intimate interaction with my Creator than cleaning the kitchen. I can imaging slowing down and reflecting in a sunrise.

How can I slow down and reflect, let alone create with a photo through daily chores?  Mindless, thoughtless, repetitive cleaning do not compose a creative story.

 

The first question might be: 1.Do I want to take the mental energy  to engage to create space for God to enter into the chores? —-  2. Does God really care to enter into my time of cleaning? I know He is with me always, but really, intimate chats  while doing housework?

  • Slow Down
  • Be Present in the Moment
  • Take a Long Loving Look at the Real.
  • What is God Saying Now?

Reflection Through a Veggie Drawer.

 I needed to put the groceries away. The veggie drawer was covered with yellow onion skins so I decided to dump these out. Then I would give the drawer a quick swipe.   😝 Thinking about my photography assignment, I ask  God, “Is there something You want to show me?

I used these  tools from  The Reflective Life by Ken Gire.2

  • Read the moment—Using my  eyes to see what’s on the surface.
  • Reflecting on the moment -Engaging my  mind to see what’s beneath the surface.
  • Responding to the moment –  Giving what I saw and received  a place to live in my heart, allowing it to grow there, upward to God and outward to other people.

An interesting cleaning experience took place.

I needed to scrub extra hard in cleaning the icky sticky goo I found close to the ridges. These ridges  took longer to clean than I wanted to give my attention to the whole drawer cleaning business.  In fact, the cleaning  was getting  boring. Thoughts began to race “Did I really want to make sure the drawer was thoroughly clean? All sticky goo gone? (Remember, at first, I was only going to dump the loose skins into the garbage . 😄 )

What was  God’s response to the sticky goo hiding next to the ridges no one sees inside of me, the gunk hard to get at?  The outside is nice and clean, but there are areas where some stuff  needs more time to (re)move.

God will never leave a job half done.

 God started with the outer layer and cleaned away the onion skins.  God then looks deeper and says “I will stay with you and clean the icky sticky goo hidden inside. I will gently clean til  the job is completed.

WHY?

Years ago I said YES to Him  and I desire His beauty to reflect through me.

(6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6 NIV)

Who knew the simple non creative job of cleaning a veggie drawer could bring me into the throne room to  interact with my Savior and Friend?

As a result the connection of slowing down I created two photos from my cleaning.

 

Be willing to enter into the moment. Slow your brain down. All you have is the reality right in front of you. The Creator of the Universe is at hand at all times to engage in the moment with you.

Slowing  down is not easy in the fast paced world. Feel free to share your victories and your battles. We are on this road together.

 Be

free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!


1Thank you Tammy Morton for saying Yes and allowing me to us this picture.

2THE REFLECTIVE LIFE (Becoming More Spiritually Sensitive to the Everyday Moments of Life) by Ken Gire © 1998 p.88.


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Contentment

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Cousins enjoying the Lake

Contentment=1. a state of happiness and satisfaction

I would like you to come on a walk with me. What is Contentment? A dictionary definition is the one above. In the Bible Paul stated in Phil 4:11-13 “ I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances”. NIV   Is it possible?

I know the last thing you want to read is anything dealing  with winter, cold or Christmas. (School supplies lists are posted in the stores already. This will challenge the sweet contentment of our youth. 🙂 )IMG_1594
Picture if you will a scene from the movie – A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring George C. Scott. Christmas Day, a small crowded room filled with the large Cratchit family surrounding a wooden table.
Bob Cratchit is holding his cup high into the air asking the family to make a toast to honor Mr. Scrooge. There is no malice, anger or contempt in his voice. The terrible work conditions Mr. Cratchit is forced to put up with, low wages and absence of respect warrant no such tribute.IMG_1697
Mrs. Cratchit on the other hand has small gratification in the same situation. In the movie, she is quite obvious in her disdain for Mr. Scrooge. She sees him as tight fisted and stingy. She would give him a piece of her mind if he were standing there in person. She knows her husband works hard, but does not receive his proper due.

Why the opposite response?

Not knowing the tic-toc in either person’s head I cannot say for sure.  Looking at an article entitled,THE SECRET OF CONTENTMENT , from the Current Magazine ( our church publication),  I envisioned  Mr. Cratchit walking  to Scrooge and Marley’s Accounting Office everyday holding God’s hand. If the reality in Mr. Cratchit’s heart knows God is saying to him –“I will never leave you, never will I forsake you,” an honest and sincere toast can be made to Mr. Scrooge, with no strings attached.  Mr. Crachit knows God is right with him. Mr. Cratchit is content.
Mrs. Cratchit is not a bad sort. In fact, truth be told, she handles life quite well. This woman is trying to keep the family running smoothly with the little funds they have. She sees her husband treated unjustly and to top it all off, the youngest child is sick with no extra money for proper care.
Blaming Mr. Scrooge for the lack of food when it would be in his power for a higher wage is understandable. (Don’t ignore your feelings). Having contempt for this man would be easy. Imagine the daily fear of  one wrong step could move them closer to the poor house. (don’t say everything is OK when it is not OK.)

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Even if Mrs. Cratchit had a relationship with  Jesus, possibly she lives as though she is totally responsible to hold everything together.  When a person is suffering, but blames others, is angry and holds a grudge, huge barriers are sometimes  constructed making it difficult to envision how God can meet the needs.

Come back to summer in Duluth, MN.

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Can you see yourself walking as either one of these characters? .
I see myself as both. At times my hand is inside of God’s, my eye’s look into His and everything is at peace, filled with contentment. I know He has my back in the situation that I am going through even though it is  new and not easy.

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At other times because I am not perfect, I choose another path. If you have read any of my previous blogs, contentment has eluded me.  I may not blame, but in weariness, lack of control,  fear, and feeling responsible to keep it together, I am not content.
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God is gentle. He loves me. He opens doors to reflect how my choices are affecting me. He will touch me through the Bible, articles, friends, or He uses His still quiet voice to woo me to a place of contentment.  (happiness and peace)

The secret of contentment for me is a continuous journey. Contentment is never out of reach but always growing deeper as I allow Jesus to love me deeper.     Feel free to share your walk with me on contentment. It is not easy but we are not alone.

glory of the Lord