Power in Weakness

I felt vulnerable and discouraged a couple of times this past week. I’s not as if anything threatening was happening. But life sideswiped me. Maybe you can relate.

I read something Sunday morning that I’d seen before, but this day it just jumped off the page at me. Think about a personal message to you from God Himself! Wouldn’t that just get your attention and make you perk up your ears?! The Apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians tells us that at one time many years prior, God spoke to him and said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9 NIV Think about the Creator God, our Lord and Savior, telling you that His incredible, unimaginable power works best or is perfected in and through us in our weakness. And here we are trying so hard to fix things, to strive, to earn His love (and maybe the favor of others~) And all the while, He says – No. It’s not in your power but in mine. Oh! What freedom that brings. Let go of your problems, let God help you solve them. I took comfort in those words and share them with you this morning. It made me feel safe to accept what I can’t change, realizing He can, in His time. Maybe His power is most visible as we just let go of what holds us back. Lord, help us to rest in and trust You more. Blue Moon

Praying these paintings make you smile for those moments you might feel “sideswiped” by life.

Cool water views for our hot weather! These watercolor views speak peace to me. Beaches, bays, waterfalls, rivers. For the moment I can dream. Do you have a favorite? What sound is comfort to your mind – waves crashing on the shore, the steady splashing of a waterfall, the bubbling of a creek? Paintbrushes don’t come complete with sound, but they manage to take me away for a little while.

Praying you find His strength where you might feel weakness this day.

Cheryl

Tired? Worn Out? Burned Out?

This morning our pastor spoke on God’s model for mankind to take a day of rest as He rested on the 7th day. I have to confess something. . . I haven’t been very good at that~ I tend to be a bit of a social butterfly, I must admit. I flit from one event or project to another desperately trying to keep track of what day it is and what it is I am supposed to be doing on whatever day it is.

We are all VERY different. Not everyone lives in hyperdrive. But this morning I considered something I had forgotten. God modeled a day to cease from our striving and to rest. We don’t have to push every day! We can celebrate life, celebrate God’s creation – or take a nap! I loved reading Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message translation.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 MSG

Being burned out on religion is VERY common. It is all-pervasive in our world. Religion is striving and doing and effort. Faith is trust, believing, and resting – resting in what Jesus has done for us – in His “unforced rhythms of grace.” We are unable to do what Christ has done with all our “religious effort.” God came to earth and took on humanity forsaking His deity. And He willingly endured the agonizing penalty of all our sin on our behalf. All He asks is that we trust and walk with Him.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16. 17

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

The translation I am most familiar with of the above verse is “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

You may find rest listening to the pounding of ocean waves, watching the changing colors of a sunset, or watching the movement of shadows as the sun moves across the sky. You may find it in a treasured book. The desert, the mountains or the oceans may be your happy place. But even when we can’t be there, God has asked us to take a break, to rest. I invite you to give yourself permission to practice the discipline of rest. It may not be a Sunday for you. But devote a day to abstaining from the turmoils of busyness and walk humbly with your God, and you will find rest for your soul.

Cheryl

Make me an instrument of Thy peace, Lord

Heading Home

Lord, I want to be a light in the darkness; a beacon that draws a weary sojourner to a Rock of safety and Hope. There is no shortage of places to go to find “news.” (That word has taken on a whole different meaning these days.) There is certainly very little encouragement to be found and no shortage of Bad News to send us into a tailspin. So I hope to be something different: a voice with a prayer and a paintbrush, directing eyes and thoughts away from “News” and back to Hope.

“Heading Home” is my 1st painting of 2021. I wonder what it speaks to you…

We in Arizona have some of the highest virus numbers in the world right now, I believe. God help us~ So I’m hunkering down a bit more trying to keep the “COVID glitter” from having another body to infect or spread even further, as my daughter so cleverly puts it. My BLOG is an attempt to reach out – to you! I need people in my life so this is another way around the pinch of the pandemic to spread encouragement rather than infection. To share the powerful truth of the love and presence of God, even in the midst of the chaos all around. God is still on His throne! He is not surprised or alarmed! He still has His arms open to provide comfort and forgiveness, healing and peace. And I throw in a little watercolor to comfort your eyes as well~

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

”When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Ps 8:3-5

Forgive me where I fall short, Lord. I need Your hands to lift me from discouragement to where I should be in Your presence. Help me love and forgive, to understand to intercede, and to be a Light of Your love. And I lift up our nation this day, praying for Your hand of grace over a broken and dispirited country as we inaugurate our President tomorrow. Praying in the powerful name of Jesus, Lord. AMEN

2020 sendoff

Puppy Lovebug

Oh, are we ever glad to see 2020 slide into oblivion! It’s almost history, friends, and won’t we be glad to kiss it goodbye.

Speaking of kissing, I’ve missed lipstick. 💋 I’ve always been a lipstick kind of girl but…that was before 2020. Not much use for lipstick when there’s a mask over your nose and mouth. I’m not confident that the mandatory mask signs will disappear any time soon. But one can only hope this 2020 “fashion item” will ultimately become less mandatory. I never would have dreamed my art would suddenly be worn on people’s faces!😷

There has been much that was painful, despairing and discouraging this past year. We each have our own stories and know friends and family who have suffered great loss. Sending heartfelt sympathy as I write this to Cliff and his family over the passing of his wife Missy, just last night. Our world has certainly changed and we want so badly to have it back! We fight an invisible enemy that has taken lives, stolen family and friend time and bankrupted countless businesses in our communities and in the world around us. I don’t recognize our world at all.

But even so, I will cling to what I know to be true REGARDLESS of the mayhem around. I will love on those God has given me even if it has to be at a distance. I will pray for our nation – for all nations – and ask God for strength to shine His light brightly in my small corner of the world. I will seek ways to bring joy and encouragement where despair seeks to gain a foothold. I will pray for you, my reader, and for your battles.

“In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Isa 26:3; “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Ps. 33:20.

Praying you will rest and find HOPE in Jesus as we head into a new year. He IS the light of the World and the giver of living water.

Living Water

Welcome 2021💫