What Do You See?

The Whole Universe is full of the Creative Energy of God.



Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Beautiful and Confident Cracked Pot

I was given a beautiful terra cotta pot as a gift. I took it to my studio as a treasure, thinking of all the wonderful possibilities. It was fragile and lovely. It had minute little pores that inherently weakened it but that added to its character and beauty.

I dropped the lid. I could not believe it. It shattered in shards so small when it hit the hardwood that some were dust. When faced with the thought of throwing this away, I could not. I remembered its beauty and how stately it made the pot look and how incomplete the pot looked without it.

I began to glue it together. I started with the largest, most obvious pieces first. It took time. I put it on the pot as it glued so it would regain its correct shape relative to the pot. I later glued the smaller pieces until finally I could no longer discern where some of the pieces went. I swept the dust away. The glue that I used was stronger than the original material of the lid. It filled not only the cracks but all surrounding crevices.

The pot with the lid sits in my studio by the window. I can now use the pot and the lid. Even with the filled cracks. It is lovely and I treasure it.

God's creation of you and I are like the lid. We are a beautiful result of His craftsmanship. Made from dust. We are fragile. Because of sin, we have inherent defects. These points are our weak sites when stressed or tested. God loves us so much that He does not want to throw us away when we are broken in sin. He sees the original beauty of the creation. He sees how the pot needs us. He gave us the healing blood of Jesus Christ to save us and put us back together. There will be holes in our lives due to sin, but He has promised us that we are a new creation in Christ and we will receive our heavenly body in the end.

That new creation in Christ is stronger along those lines that were once defects. The glue that holds us together is stronger than the original material. God's love through Christ now flows through us. He uses those once defects to present God's love to others - those weak spots are where God works now.

"Go out boldly, knowing that in our weaknesses we will always find His strength. In Christ, the answer to every one of His promises is "Yes," and for this reason we say, "Amen, so be it!"
2 Corninthians 1:20

-Sara Beth

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Harmonizing Your Life With God

How many times have you heard that God is love? Well He really is and we were created such that when we have only love in our life, we are in harmony with Him, through the blood of Jesus Christ, and are Spirit filled. It is that simple! LOVE is the harmonic frequency of our soul, the ideal state for pure health, how we possess the utmost in creativity, how we are living abundantly and joyfully, when we have no worry or want, when all our pipes are open to God the creator of the universe and He is in charge.

What causes the blockage in our pipes? Any negative vibration in our body contrary to LOVE cuts us off from God and having these blessings in abundance and joyfully. These states are really so dangerous to us spiritually, physically, and mentally, and limits or stop completely our ability to be creative, good parents, wives, you name it...

What are these negative vibrations? Anytime you do not love God with all your heart soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself (in other words the 10 commandments.) In other words, when we get in the way with self. Paul is very explicit in showing how self gets in the way in ways we don't normally think about and the results are disharmony with God which is dangerous!!!!...

Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you gave himself as a sacrifice
to take away your sins. And God was pleased because that sacrifice was sweet perfume to Him.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord. and your behavior should show it. For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; He gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism of God’s word.  He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares his body, which is the church. And we are his body.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5

Ask God to clean your heart through Christ's sacrifice, be filled with the Spirit and be in harmony with God! It is like the smell of sweet perfume. How lovely is the painting of your life! - Sara Beth

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When You Look in the Mirror, Do you Recogonize What You See?

David was a man who could look in the mirror and be honest about what he saw. Don't you love that about a person? So does God! David wrote:

"For I recognize my shameful deeds-they haunt me day and night. Against You, and You alone, have I sinned. I have done what is evil in Your sight. You will be proved right in that You say, and Your judgment against me is just.

For I was born a sinner - yes from the moment my mother conceived me.
But You desire honesty from the heart so You can teach me to be wise in my inmost being."
Psalm 51:3.

Do you look at yourself and say - I am doing OK? Could you stand confidently before God? Do you feel like the creative energy of the God the creator of the universe flows through you? Or is it that your day feels like the weight of the universe is on you? Who then is really leading you? You or Christ?

God can shed a little reality into your morning mirror check, he is the lampstand in Zech 4:2, His word, the scroll in Zech 5:2, clearly tells us what is right and what is wrong. The sin that we are living in and with is enclosing us like the woman in the basket in Zech 5:6-7. Our sins are building up and they are feeling like the lead weight lid on the woman in Zech 7.

Once again, look in the mirror and remember what John said:

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 18-20

So what do we see by our actions and truth? Now really look in the mirror!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Opening the Eyes of Our Heart

To clearly see out of our heart we must ask God to open the eyes of our heart. When we do, we may be in for a surprise, instead of first looking outward, we will probably be lead to look inward. We may need to do some foundation work there before proceeding.

The insecurities we have, the problems we face, the impatience and lack of focus, the feeling of being overwhelmed, when we are having trouble trying to finish a project or painting, when a business deal falls through, a relationship.... Many times these problems can be traced back to unconfessed sin. Think about it. Our sin keeps us from living the life of abundance and joy that God wants for us. It limits our ability to fully enjoy the creative power of God the Father of the universe residing in us through His Spirit. And what is it He asks; to love our neighbor and to obey the commandments.

God is the God of love, generosity, and mercy. If we really look at our life we will see how very blessed we are. How abundant and merciful God has been toward us. This in turn should lead us to have a humble and grateful heart toward God and our neighbor and to not be in want and to not feel threatened by others.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:16-20

When we want to see out of our heart; we must ask God to open the eyes of our heart. The unconfessed sin, those things done and left undone, those persons that we have not forgiven, even those sins we are not aware of that are against God are like trying to drive your car in a pouring rain looking out your windshield and not using your wipers! Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so that you may see clearly, but be prepared if your heart condemns you to "clean some windows first!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Don't See What You See - See what Your Heart and Your Mind See

Today has been a day of really asking" What are we supposed to be seeing?"

I awoke to the TV and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. describing what he saw and what he dreamed others would see. He was not listing the details, the problems, the issues... in his I Have A Dream speech. And it was not a dream that involved his eyes, it was a dream of his heart. It was a vision where he saw the forest instead of the trees. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." He wanted everyone to not see what you see but to see what you know. Not to see color, which is a detail, but to see character which is fundamental.

Zechariah did the opposite when the angel asked him what he saw in Chapter 4. He described details instead of seeing what the details represented. He did not know what he was describing.

Then I asked the angel, "What are these my lord and what do they mean?"
Don't you know?" the angel asked. "No, my lord," I replied. Zech 4:4-5 and 4:13

When asked to describe what he saw in Chapter 5:2 Zechariah said: "I see a flying scroll," I replied. "It appears to be thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide." The angel did not even bother to ask a third time if he knew what it meant when given minute details by Zechariah to describe what he saw, he just went ahead and told him. Granted the details are very important, but not in the first step; the first step is to describe what it means. How many times do we paint a painting without understanding what it is we are trying to capture and what it represents in our heart and mind, completing a task without looking at the big picture, looking at a problem and only seeing the symptoms. This is like going through life without really living.

What do you see? Maybe we should ask what do you see with your heart? -Sara Beth

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do Not Despise the Small Things

"Where does one begin in an attempt to achieve inspired living and inspired creativity?" I guess it is with a good look and starting at the foundation- obviously? (but not always for me!) Before I even asked this question today -"Where one starts," I remembered miraculously that I was given the simple answer earlier in the week. See what I mean....

Recently, God has shown me the importance of stopping and looking and beginning all things with the foundation - the small things that form the groundwork that no one can see. The cracks we see on the ceiling and the frustrations we experience when we paint or go to complete any task can typically be traced back to flaws in the initial preparation/foundation as well as a lack of understanding (seeing) of the thing or situation. I am so excited and eager to begin to use color, to begin to express with brush work, to begin to see results in programs and projects, that I inadequately or completely eliminate doing the things that no one will see - the articulated vision describing the program or painting, then the initial sketches, the thumbnail drawings to establish the composition...

So step one is to pause and ask yourself "What do you see?" Now don't just give things or the situation a cursory look, but really look, with your heart and your mind, like you had just been given sight as a blind man or one who had been asleep. Then drop the plumb line and rejoice in doing the small things, knowing the strength that will come at the finish. - Sara Beth

1 "Now the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep and asked "What do you see?" Zech 4:1
10 "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. Zech 4:10