God’s Waiting Room

This is one of my favorite graphics, created to complement a sermon by Rev. John Frey. Even though the chair is far from perfect, with its tattered arms and well-worn upholstery, it’s still able to fulfill its purpose, beckoning, “Come, sit, take in the beauty of God’s creation.” I can see myself sitting there, still, listening, waiting on God.

Matthew 5:43-48

Matthew 5:43-48 :: Perfect Isn't Perfection

Oftentimes, when I do “be still and listen”, I hear what I call “God whispers” – nudges to reach out to someone or to pray for them.  So, to me, this chair serves as a reminder to be still, listen and pray.

John’s sermon, “Perfect Isn’t Perfection”, was based on Matthew 5:43-48. I encourage you to give it a listen, as it was a very thought-provoking message about Jesus’ call for us to love our enemies. What really caught my attention, though, was John’s explanation of verse 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

John explained that the Greek word translated as “perfect” isn’t talking about the pursuit of “perfection”, but rather, the concept being described is to “live fully into your purpose, to perfectly be what God placed you on this earth to be”.

We, like the chair, don’t have to be perfect to live fully into our purpose, which, at least in part, is to love others as he loves us. Let’s be honest…. we don’t always like everyone we meet and in fact there are people in our lives that we just do not like – because of wildly different viewpoints, past hurts, perceived transgressions or whatever – and it’s more than a little difficult to feel, much less demonstrate love to them. Thankfully, though, prayer is a form of love, and when we love those we don’t particularly like by praying for them, we are living into God’s purpose for our life. We are loving others as he loves us.

This week, I will concentrate on loving an ‘enemy’ by lifting them in prayer each day.  Will you join me?

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Walk in the Light of His Love

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

This design based on 1 John 1:7 came to mind this morning as I walked around at a local farmers market, selecting luscious veggies and enjoying the cool crisp air and warm sunshine. My sister accompanied me and it was so good to spend some time together, catching up. With her new grandchildren to dote on and my new job, we haven’t been able to connect as much as we’d like and I’ve really missed our ‘sister time’.

God made us for fellowship – with him and with others. When we fellowship with other believers and nurture those relationships, we also experience fellowship with God, walking in the light of His love. When circumstances result in our being isolated from one another, we develop a yearning that can only be resolved through such fellowship. As the scriptures tell us, we are ‘wonderfully made’, complete with pre-programmed yearnings that nudge us to seek that which really matters.  Thank you, God, for yearnings, nudges and luscious veggies!

1 John 1:7

1 John 1:7 :: Walk in the Light of His love

Friends, Perfume & Incense

Today’s ‘Daily Inspirations’ email from a friend included a verse in Proverbs that caused me to pause and contemplate. Which must be exactly what God had in mind for scripture when he inspired its creation. We only need to let our eyes rest on scripture long enough for it to grab hold, and then everything else falls away for a few moments as we gently roll it over in our minds and hearts and let it settle in. That’s what happened to me this morning as I sipped my cuppa coffee and casually started reading emails. Proverbs 27:9 grabbed me.

Faces of friends and family who, in the midst of the deep, dark valley I traveled through this past year, provided tender words of comfort, a shoulder to cry on and wise counsel – gently faded in and out of vision while I read the scripture over and over. I was suddenly very aware of the sweet cinnamon-vanilla aroma of my coffee and that made me smile from the inside, out. I thanked God for getting my attention, for the blessing of friends and family who continually remind me of His unconditional love, and for the gift of creativity instilled in me.  It was then that I decided put off the ba-jillion errands listed on the notepad to the right of my keyboard, and instead spend the better part of the day creating!

Hence, I created a couple of new designs and readied several older designs to upload to the gallery for sharing with you, in SoupArt Gallery A.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9, NLT

Proverbs 27:9 :: Friends, Perfume & Incense