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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Slowing Down Can Bring True Refreshment

 

Proverbs 14 b

As you slow down and give yourself to the serious pursuit of reflection, you will find it is not an absence of work. It is more of a decision as to where you want to allow your mind to go. What do you want your mind and body to engage in?  In receiving the wonders you take in,  you decide how your heart engages with the given information and how you will share it. In other words,

It is discovering  refreshing waters pouring  over  your tired soul.

 

Ponder this : If the daily spiritual consumption you ingest is similar to a drive-thru for your favorite latte on your way to work, are you really getting the best and deepest nourishment in your relationship with God?

Probably Not.😄

It tastes really good at the time. You get your needed zip to start the day.  Then as  the time goes  on, and like the caffeine energy that wears away,  with little  spiritual and substance and reflection,  it is hard to hear His tender, caring voice expressing His love.

.

 

 

In a  past daily Bible reading, the New Testament portion was Acts 25-26. I could easily  been impressed with Paul’s eloquent rhetoric in his defense to King Agrippa. I could have  closed the book and said, “WOW! God sure gave Paul just the right words to say to get him out of trouble.    Thank you God.”

Slowing down caused me to catch something else God had in store for me.

 

Kick against the GOADS.

.  
12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

 

                                                                                                  NKJV Acts 26

 

Such an odd sentence! Kick against the goads!  What does that mean?

 

goad02

 

An  ox goad  is similar to a cattle prod. (an instrument used by ploughmen for guiding their oxen   . http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/  )  It is a type of long stick with a pointed end.( Wipikedia)

A farmer uses the goad to push and prod the ox to make him move to a certain goal and perform the duties he is created for. The more the ox fights (kicks) against the goad, the harder the farmer needs to push it into the ox until the correct path is chosen.

IT HURTS!

Everything in Paul’s being was trained and ready for the Messiah. When the PROMISE was fulfilled  through the man Jesus, Paul could not or would not walk that direction. He kept pushing against the very path he actually wanted to be on.

As Paul realized the Man speaking to him on the Damascus road was the Promised  fulfilled,  he quit kicking.  The true wisdom, washed  over his heart  causing Paul the freedom to embrace a relationship with Jesus for who Jesus truly is.

                        That YES changed Paul’s life forever.

That YES affected all followers of Jesus forever.

 

Slowing down and reflecting on this passage took me to a deep question. I put this same  question to you.

Is there an area in your life where you are:

         Kicking against the goad?

 

Where did you say “YES” to God with your whole heart and now you think you know better for your life than He does?

Was  creativity a dynamic worship expression in your intimate relationship with God at one time and now other areas vie for your time?  Creativity and worship are not important?

Is God opening  a different direction in your life ( a new ministry, change of  job, writing a book), but it  does not seem to line up with your “normal walk”?

You can fill the blank with  your own question that has been lurking in the back of your mind________.

                                             

What is your response when you think of these specific conversations? Are you kicking against the goad? God is not angry.  He is waiting to free you as He did Paul.

 

 

As Paul  received the wise words to quit resisting the reality of Jesus and His Love, Paul was bathed in refreshing waters for a new life.

 

IMG_4099

Relax and sit with Me for awhile

 

Slowing down will bring true refreshment for you. What are your goads?

 

BE

 FREE

TO

WORSHIP

AS

YOUR

WERE

CREATED!

 

Feel free to share your questions and thoughts. We are all on this journey together.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

plowman photo is a free on line example of an ox goad with ox.

 

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TAKE A SLOW WALK THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES

If you have been reading my posts or following my other social media, I have suggested you slow down and live reflectively. Take deep breaths in the present time God is gifting you. Contemplate as you create to take in what God is sharing with you.   Do not dwell in the past because that has past. Do not fret  the future because you are not walking that path right now. Take God’s hand as He walks you through the joys (or tears) of the now.

Easier said than done. The past affects the present  and the future is our tomorrow’s present.

How we allow God to walk  us through the present and help deal with the past will affect how the future is handled.

Do these books look familiar? If not,  that is OK. They are my current GO TO  books for encouragement, inspiration and challenge.Jpeg

Margaret Feinberg’s book seems to speaks to points of my need at the right time.

Proverbs ground us in the life God intends”.1

If I want to be grounded in the life God intends for me, I need to do more with Proverbs than slide over the words as a mere check off  to-do box. This is a relationship.

The second book, The Reflective Life has tools to help implement a reflective life into our everyday life. The Growth Of The Reflective Life (Part VI)  includes help with the scriptures.

Do you think it is possible to have a fresh breath of the Words of Solomon?

Can these word have the same affect on a modern 21st century reader as they did when Solomon first heard them?

In the section entitled “ Reflecting on the Scriptures”  Ken takes the passage  Luke 10:38-42. and shows how he uses the  following items  to help  obtain the fresh wind for himself.

  • READING THE MOMENT
  • REFLECTING THE MOMENT
  • RESPONDING TO THE MOMENT
  • PRAY THROUGH THE PASSAGE
  • GIVE THE PASSAGE A PLACE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEART2
    These contemplative actions are slow and  deliberate engagements to connect with our Creator. They can be worked through all the scriptures.   The last  two sit at the Master’s feet and listen. The last two take the Master’s hand and go where He leads.

.

The following is an example of the gift I received as I took deep steps to respond to a reading in Proverbs  using Ken’s reflections guide  As you allow yourself to go deeper, be open to life changing possibilities.

Proverbs 15:31-32 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

P_20170529_113155

What do you have for me God?

As a creative person, criticism is one of the last things I may  initially want  to  hear. I know I work hard to make physical, the beauty my mind and soul is enjoying, whether it is through writing, photography or fiber arts (knitting /crocheting).

The truth is, what does God want? “ If I listen to constructive criticism, I will be at home among the wise .”

“If I reject criticism, I only harm myself, but if I listen to correction I will grow in understanding.” (The One Year Bible NLT. I changed the nouns to make it personal as you read it.)

Verse 32 is a bit sharper in the results of one who does not take criticism

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,

but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.NIV

What do you hear?

Is there a past pain causing rejection from any critique?  If you do not discipline yourself in the creativity God is calling you, are you being true to yourself and what He wants to share.  Does perfection and comparison from the past or fear of the future keep you from living in the present?  Allow Him to come inside. He is gentle.

 

 

————————————————————————————-

Taking a slower walk through the scriptures will allow you to hear God’s voice, HIS JOY, HIS TRUTH.  As you walk deeper in His Kingdom,  the passage will have a place in your heart. It cannot help but flow out. Join me as we walk deeper. Your creativity will reflect that walk.

Wild flowers are beautiful

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!




1 Margaret Feinberg FLOURISH  Live Loved Live Fearless Live Free. ⓒ2016 p52
2 Ken Gire THE REFLECTIVE LIFE ©1998 pp 107-120


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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.