Tag Archives: Psalm 139

Serving The God of Creativity

Or… why you should never stop coloring

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. ~ Genesis 1:27

I find myself asking, at what point do kids stop considering themselves an artist. And then I also find myself asking, “At what point did some adults think they were?”

There was a social media video going around the other day about the child of an artist who at the ages of a two or three had his paintings selling for thousands. I rolled my eyes, curled my lips and determined in my heart I wouldn’t be bitter. It was just ridiculous to me. This kid was literally throwing paint on a canvas and they are in awe of his talent. He may grow into an amazing artist, I won’t begrudge him that. And I wouldn’t tell the little fellow his art was subpar. But I would gladly tell the people paying thousands for it that their brain was subpar.

I’ve never been drawn to too many abstract artist. Although some I have found very talented. I could tell by the way they created it wasn’t about throwing paint on the canvas, but there truly was a method to their madness. By color and design, it was good. At least that’s my opinion. If you like abstract art, glory to God! I just don’t get it.

I’m going from the prospective of the greatest of all imaginations. God. He just didn’t throw paint on the canvas and call it a sky. The colors worked together. When He created man, He sculpted Adam and Eve in magnificence! Look at everything else on earth. It’s beautiful. None of it looks like an afterthought.

So back to my original question. When do children stop considering themselves to be artists? I don’t know for certain, and I’m sure it differs, but I would wager a bet, if I wasn’t Baptist, because we’re not allowed to bet. But if I was, I would wager a bet that it’s after the first negative critical experience.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m an encourager. I don’t criticize. Even if I think it. I may offer a suggestion to help someone, but I know that when someone creates something, they’ve usually done their best. And I can guarantee if they gave it to God, He would put it on His refrigerator. But He may not hang it in a gallery.

It’s taken me 30 years to call myself an artist. Not because anyone has ever criticized me, because that is the furthest from the truth. I have great encouragement in my life. But I have no self-esteem. And of the few negative nellies that have critiqued me, and they’ve just been a few. That’s all it took to squelch me down.  It’s what has kept me from making a living at the gift God gave me.

I stopped taking coloring serious. I still did it, but I didn’t take it serious. Most people just stop doing it all together, although it has made a reprise in recent years with the new adult coloring books.

Going deeper into the realm of creativity causes me to explore why we are less apt to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit telling us to do something, to create something new. Perhaps its because we fear that same critique of the world that we experienced as children that caused us to no longer view ourselves as artist.

You might be an artist of words, works, numbers. There are too many talents to list. What is your gifting and is it something that you should be using for the Kingdom, either for a living, or for a ministry. And why aren’t you using it?

How do we know if it’s Refrigerator or Gallery worthy? All good questions. And worthy of looking into the scripture to see what God says about who we are.

In His Image

He created us in His image. With passions like Him.

Psalm 139:13

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

He controls us and creates specific desires within us. He created us to create. I personally don’t know of a child who doesn’t like to create “stuff.” It’s engrained in us as babies from making a mess to making what we think is the most amazing piece of art ever! All six of my grands love creating, even though they may not all grow up to be artist. Praise God, they don’t know that. They just want to create.

I believe that as we grow that creativity takes shape into different amazing things. But creating is not just an artistic endeavor. Creating is doing a new thing.

Isaiah 43:19 says Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

God didn’t stop creating, why should we. He went from creating things, to creating paths and then using us to complete His work so that He can get the glory. I think people and churches get stalemated when we lose our desire to create, or we just don’t know the direction we should go. We’re satisfied with just showing up.

The church should be an ongoing project of getting souls saved and that takes many shapes and creative ideas.

I’m a project driven person. I need a project to feel purposeful. And I believe that’s how God created us all. Like Him, we are made to create.

Isaiah 43:7

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

That verse makes me very happy! I (and you) were created by God for His glory. Meaning that when He created us, He created us to do something. Not just sit in a church pew.

For His Glory

Where ever we are in life, we are there to bring glory to God in that place. In our churches, in our work and in our passions.

Isaiah 45:12

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

God created all the earth and all of creation to glorify His name.

We have to have doctors, nurses, gas station owners, pharmacists and every other position in life to make the world go round and function. But all of those positions should point others to Christ.

Isaiah 45:8

You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.

All of Heaven and earth work in harmony.

This morning I picked up my fiddle that I had had to put a new “E” string on because I broke the old one tuning it. I hadn’t played it for a week or two and every string was out of tune. It sounded awful. But when I got the tuner out and put every string in tune, suddenly I felt like a musician again. That’s how life is. With artistry, with jobs and churches. We get out of tune. We lose our passion and purpose. We need tuned up. We need to find that creativity and desire to make something wonderful for the Lord. A new coloring page.

My grandson Logan was creating a Charizard. Which I don’t even know what is, other than it’s a Pokemon character. But it didn’t matter. It only mattered that his hand created it.

God wants to see some of your work, your best creative pieces. And there’s a reason that Christ said that we should come to Him like little children. Because it’s with that mindset that we feel free and welcome to create. Not judged.

Don’t squelch your creative spirit. God may just be getting ready to do something amazing with you.

Not By Accident

This was His word for me when I was ready to back out of His work again because I would be judged.  God told me this. He said “you’re past the age where you can throw stuff on a canvas and call it art. Be intentional. And do it.”

God doesn’t create things by accident.  He had purpose. So should we. Don’t ever stop coloring. There’s something about that child within that helps you to keep in check with Who’s really in control.

I’m not raising babies in the ministry

Dressing for Success takes on a whole new meaning when you’re talking about church, at least for me. I’m not referring to what you physically wear to church, I’m pretty flexible on that matter, just be decent, and be in church, and I’m a happy camper.  I’m talking about what you spiritually wear to church.

If you’ve been in church any time at all you’ve likely heard a sermon or two preached from Ephesians 6 on the whole armor of God. It’s a necessary sermon for getting through life’s every day battles that leave more than a dent or two on us. But what about the armor we wear to church? Is there such a thing?

I personally want a sermon preached to me that when it’s over my toes are bruised from all the times they’ve been stepped on. I know that’s not the norm. Most people like a sermon that powders their tush and makes them feel all fluffy inside. My opinion of that, is that’s what gotten America in the shape she’s in. My friend Roger preached last night and hit the nail on the head when he said, “We’ve quit preaching on personal sin.” Nobody wants anyone to hold them accountable, they especially don’t want God to hold them accountable. We want the Lord of love but we don’t want the Lord of accountability. Just save us Lord, then leave us be. And so the world now caters to that in churches across the land because it brings numbers… or does it?

I’ve heard those against the mega churches say that those churches are full because it’s easy believism being preached. There are those I’m sure. But I’ve listened to several that stir my soul. And I’ve been in little churches that have been mighty in the Spirit and some that were few in number because nobody was preaching a message of conviction to make anyone loyal to God. We need what David knew was necessary for successful living in Psalm 139:23 when he said “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts.” David didn’t want baby powder, he wanted talcum powder from a work out with God.  We need a strong word to make us stronger. Weak words do just that, they weakens us. So stomp my toes Mr. Preacher and I’ll wear the appropriate attire for church.

Fully Dressed

In earlier times, pre-spanking days, a father wouldn’t send you to your room to think about what you’d done. He’d fully dress ya. Maybe that’s a word from our region, I’m not sure, and I really never heard it from my own dad, but I’ve been fully dressed on more than one occasion by God.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Put on the whole armor, not just part of it. While we think of this as verses for life, it’s also verses for church. We need to be prepared to hear the word of God because in that place of worship the first one to show up for a service is Satan himself. He’s got every open pew filled with evil. And with the churches of today, there’s plenty of open seats. But while we’re there we need to come prepared to hear the word of God even if that means we’re gonna be fully dressed by him. That is how we grow. We discipline our children so they know there’s a better way, God does His children no different.

Fully Drawn

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Entering a spirit filled service of the Lord should find our minds fully drawn into the Holy Spirit. Focused on what He’d have us to know even if that means putting on blinders to all else in the room. Satan knows the house of God is a place of business for God. It’s not the only place He works but it’s one of the best. So it’s there that Satan launches an attack to keep eyes and minds off the sermon. He’ll do it with people, thoughts, bugs, babies, anything that can pull your mind away from the word. Get fully drawn into God when you hit the building.

Fully Determined

None of my three points sound like something you put on until you think of them in the spiritual sense. Being dressed, drawn and determined are all spiritual mindsets that must be put on inwardly and worn outwardly so that the not only Satan and his cronies can see it, but others can see it.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Each piece of the spiritual armor has a purpose to shielding us from the wickedness of the spiritual realm. But one of the most detrimental things to the spiritual man is self. We have to allow God to dress us when we’re drifting away from His purpose. We have to allow ourselves to be drawn to the spiritual side rather than the flesh and we have to put on that determination before we ever enter the service of God.

Fully Devoted

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to wear it, but above all we need to speak it. Telling others about Christ is a devotion few have any more. They’re devoted to Sunday morning… not so much Monday through Saturday. Tonight is Wednesday and I’ll teach this thought to my teens, because I’m not raising babies in my ministry. I want them battle ready when they hit life head on!0

Satan’s Most Powerful Tool

12117Whither shall I go from the Spirit? Whither shall I flee from Thy presence?

Psalm 139:7

Sometimes I confuse myself. I know the word of God, the power of God, the compassion of God, the omnipresence of God, and above all I know the forgiveness of God. But it seems when I’m at my wits end in life, and I’ve tried my last human effort; I still have one thing left to do. RUN! And the whole time I’m running I’m thinking… “There’s no sanity in this. God is my only hope.” But do I turn back? Nope! That makes way too much since and Satan is so, so very good at what he does. Convincing me that I am unworthy, defeated, or hopeless.

I’d like to tell you that after twenty years of salvation, and greater than 10 years of writing and studying the word of the Lord I’m above it. But I’m not. When David penned the words in Psalm 139 it was an affirmation. He was reminding himself that there was no where he could go that would put him out of God’s presence. There was no part of him that God did not know. There was nothing he had done that God had not seen. Hmmm…. That explains why I run. It’s called guilt. Its likely Satan’s most powerful tool on the child of God.

He has no power to control the child of God (unless we give it to him) because we have the Savior within our hearts. A spot that Satan cannot occupy. But he is still the prince of the air, and those air waves are very disheartening. David too much have understood that when he wrote in the same Psalm (vs. 16)  “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect, and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Long before God created me, He knew who I would be. He knew I would fail. And yet it says in the following “How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

That’s a humbling thing to know, that the Almighty God Who created the universe in all its splendor and has so much to do, takes time to think of me. That’s a word that the prince of the air doesn’t want you to know. He doesn’t want you to know that in the course of God’s day, whatever that might look like, I’m on His mind. I also wonder what He must have thought when I turned my back on Him.

Disheartened? No, being disheartened is to be discouraged, intimidated, downcast. None of which describes God. Here are just a few scriptures that tell us Who God is.

God’s thoughts are so much higher than I can imagine  ~ Isaiah 55:8–9

He does not grow weary, even of me! ~  Isaiah 40:28

He knows my hair better than my beautician! ~  Luke 12:7

Before I was born, He implanted His career design in me. Even knowing I would not do it justice. ~ Jeremiah 1:5

He is not partial to anyone more than me. ~  Deuteronomy 10:17

I always feel less and unworthy, both of which play into the hands of the prince of the air causing me to flee from God. When scripture tells me, I a loved, forgiven, planned and blessed by God. I hope you are wiser than I. Don’t buy the lies of Satan. They’re extremely expensive.

Is God a Journaler?

psalm 139Psalm 139

In the darkness of my room this morning, as the sun contemplating coming out from beneath the covers, I opened my Bible app on my phone and began to read in Psalm 139. Darkness messes with my mind… I start pondering things I shouldn’t ponder, my imagination takes me down dimly lit pathways where the future is uncertain. Silence is not always golden… praise God for technology that allows me to read in the dark!

He knows me

1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Not the “me” that my family and friends know, God knows me. The part that He created, and the parts that I messed up. God know that me, and yet He loves me. Yet, He desires to commune with me and I trail off down dark path…

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

As I lie in bed this morning and read those words I smiled. How awesome God, that in this dark hour, You know my ways. You know the concerns of my heart and the troubles that beset me and You understand! You walked this earth and defeated the foes that I fight, so why am I fighting them? Because it’s a dark time we live in, and I, more often than not, am content to lie in the darkness rather than turn on the light of the glorious gospel that expels the shadows. Silly me.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Nobody knows me like God, and in spite of it He laid His hand upon me and anointed me with purpose and so I understand the Psalmist when he says “Such knowledge is too wonderful.” I know that I do not deserve the blessings that God has poured upon and through me and allowed me to work in the ministry of the Lord, the very thing that I desired in my heart but feared because it was a path I could not see down. Oh, great God… “I” cannot attain to it; but through Christ Who strengthens me, I can do all things! So it says in Philippians 4:13.

He Is With Me

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Loneliness, like the darkness, can have me feeling lost. I’m my own best friend and worst enemy all packed into one. But God knows that. There are times when the Holy Spirit of God is pushed and pushed and pushed into the recesses of my mind so that I can spend more time with me; the good, the bad, and the ugly me. But He patiently waits for me to tire of my company. It’s usually about the time that I fall to Satan’s lies that “nobody really cares about your problems, Shari, they’ve got plenty of their own,” when I feel God nudge me and say… “I’ve never left you. I’ve always cared.”

He Leads Me

I don’t know how I got into Psalm 139 this morning. I hadn’t been reading there… but it was a path that God laid out, just as He has my life.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Oh wait… I do remember how I got to Psalm 139! I was scoping out a bible journaler on Instagram and a verse from 139 was there. Her thoughts were not mine. God had an entirely different plan for her, another path. But it was wonderfully made like mine.

He Writes of Me

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

I love to write. And what sweet words those were to my heart to see that God is a Journaler too! I have to wonder if on the pages of His book, in living color, is not an image of me. The word says that “all my members were written.” That sounds like pictures to me! That may or may not be stretchin’ it, but this is my blog and my thoughts… and that’s the way it went.

Search Me, O God

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

On this Election Day 2016, there has been much blaspheming of the Lord’s name. It angers me and causes me to want to travel down a dark path with a ball bat… just sayin’. I’m not violent. I hate that too, but when I think about the destruction on this world by words, my flesh rises and I want retribution for my Lord. But it’s not my fight. He won that won too. So for today, at least for this minute… I ask the Lord to search me. Those are the thoughts that I have control over.

Heaven help our nation… please.

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