What Do You See?

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



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Know Your Focal Point

I am embarrassed to say that although I have always known in painting it is important to specify what my focal point was before starting, I did not realize its importance and, even more embarrassing, I did not always do it. It finally dawned on me one day that the importance of the focal point is not just to know what to highlight, it is to know what to leave out!!! If you know what your focal point is before you start your painting or before you make your plans for the day, you will know what to say no to!

I think it is obvious in our work and even more so in our lives when we don't know what our focal point is. It is one reason why we fill our days and our work with so many extraneous things called distractions. In a painting, it will result in so many things being beautiful that the viewer only sees the technical ability of the painter and not the story or purpose of the painting. In other words, it gets us into situations where we have said yes to so many things that we become overwhelmed or our work is overwhelming and the story of our lives is not known.

The abundance of distractions of course leads us to the inability to focus on anything. We go around, our life and our painting, not knowing what to do next. Discontentment is only natural at this point which sets the stage for jealousy and envy. Then of course, doubting sets in which is accompanied by a loss of confidence, insecurity and discouragement. Yuk! This sounds all too familiar and then the pity party starts.

There are a lot of reasons why we let distractions interfere with our life, day and painting. We may be saying yes to distractions in part because of our pride and also that little voice in our head that says "You can do anything you set your mind to." Another reason why we are saying yes to distractions is because we forgot to specify a focal point and then make the choices to leave the rest out. We are not admitting defeat if we say no, we are strengthening our focal point. Imagine going to college for year after year and saying yes to all the distractions there. And worse, going for years and not declaring your major. Declaring your focal point and saying no to distractions actually strengthens the declaration and success!

God gave us the freedom to choose our focal point and then to say no to anything that is distracting us away from that point. Martha forgot to choose her focal point the day Jesus and the disciples came to her house. That led to her saying yes to so many distractions, and then she became discontent, jealous, and had a pity party in front of Christ! But Christ answered her in such a kind and patient way – I love how he said “Martha, Martha” like a sweet, knowing, loving grandfather.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-41

God not only gave us the choice of what the focal point of our lives is, he gave us the choice as to how we live to show our focal point - what we choose to do; do we deny ourselves or do we choose to do things that will glorify Him? Do we choose the things that will last? In other words, we can choose to leave in anything that will compliment and lead us to the Focal Point. We can wake up each morning and say “You are my focal point today - I want to choose the things to do today that will last or glorify You.” It will really put into perspective what to do that day and most importantly what to leave out.

Are you distracted and worried about many things? Maybe it is just a simple thing that you forgot to specify or know what your focal point is.  - Sara Beth

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Playing the Music of Your Life

Now that you are in key with the right attitude, how do we play the music of creativity? Where does Art come from?

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:26-27

Our first gift from God, the Creator, was the gift of creativity. This gift is inherent in each and every one of us. He then gave us the creation, or nature, to have dominion over. And on the seventh day, "God rested from all His work which God had created and made." God gave us a time to reflect, meditate and worship Him.

By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.
Genesis 2:2-3

We are given creativity, we are given creation, and we are given a day of rest to honor the Creator. The three in synchronicity centered on the Creator. Our lives should be told in this fashion We all have the abilty to create, we all have been given the sciences through nature to take hold of and we must fashion this work around a day of pause or rest, focused on the Creator.

It is the unified marriage of the arts and sciences that brings a generation to a Renaissance. It is an equal weighting and unified approach to any work, combining the arts and sciences, where true miracles and strides in any area are made. And all this must be founded on the Creator with the importance of rest emphasized.

"Anyone can practice the notes of Chopin, but it is only considered true music when the pauses are added."

The marrigage of art and the sciences is everywhere around us. We just have to live consciously to see and feel and hear it. The combining of the aesthetic with the scientific is so easily found in nature and has been eloquently described as the Golden Mean or Fibonacci number. It is fundamental to a masterpiece of music, art, astronomy, the body, motions or cycles in nature, how our environment naturally recycles, how the waves curl and the leaves are formed...

It is a human's gift to create, study nature and we are told to sancify a day of rest. When done in unison, our lives begin to play the music. - Sara Beth

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Key to an Inspired Life - Be ALL Right

Have you heard the new Darius Rucker song Alright? "I'm alright, alright, I got all I need... I got a roof over my head...when I lay down at night I thank the Lord above, for giving me everything I could ever dream of...” It makes me so happy to hear this song. It reminds me of David saying the Lord's Prayer. With the Lord as my shepherd, I got all I need.. I got food to eat, water to drink, I got everything I could ever dream of, my cup overflows!

How do we get this attitude adjustment and how do we maintain it? David first asked for forgiveness and then a right spirit that would obey and be taught.

Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right Spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and make me willing to obey You.
Psalms 51:10, 12

This joy of His salvation or contentment from Christ, the fruit of the Spirit, and the willingness to be taught are the keys to living inspired. These are the keys to always being content regardless of what is going on around us, being inspired in what we do or what we are seeing; it is how we should look at all situations. This joy comes only from the clean heart that Christ gives us and the renewal of the indwelling Holy Spirit with the seeds of all those Spirit given gifts. Then, we must be willing to be taught by God to know how to be obedient which will over time grow the fruits of the Spirit.

Paul wrote
"I have learned the secret of living/being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philip 4:12-13

This is a Spirit of contentment. The definition: of content n. rest of mind; satisfaction; freedom from worry; - adj, satisfied; not inclined to complain or desire something more or something different than what one has. It is very clear that contentment is not what happens to us or our present circumstances or surroundings. It is how we respond to those things knowing that our strength is always in Christ; Knowing that all things work to the good for those who love Christ. Are you content? Do you know you are all right? Do you know because of Christ's work on the cross you really have no reason to worry and you have got all you need?

It is not always easy to be content in the face of trials, to be inspired on a gray day, it is something you must learn and you must be obedient in all your lessons - intentional! And when it seems too much, we must remember to give God all our worries and always include thanksgiving in our prayers.

Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Philip 4:6

I think God is so wonderfully smart. If we really pray about what is on our mind and then we earnestly list all of the things we have to be thankful for, how in the world can we continue to worry! A thankful heart will begin to focus on contentment.

Isn't it amazing that the secret to living is contentment through Christ who strengthens us! This is the abundant joy that we Christians have. Through a content heart everything you see will be inspired. You will not be waiting on contentment or inspiration to happen to you, because life will pass right by. Instead, open your eyes with a clean heart, renewed Spirit, and willingness to be taught.  Open your eyes and SEE that contentment and inspiration are already all around you, but first True Contentment must be in you. - Sara Beth