I have always been interested in creating things.  I am not "crafty" but I certainly do try!  In fact, it is the process of creating that refreshes my spirit and when I finish something and think "it is good", there is such a feeling of joy.  As I began to focus more on my craft projects and art the last few weeks I was challenged by my husband.  He questioned my passionate desire to do my little projects (admittedly I sometimes get carried away...).  As we resolved our feelings concerning my "projects" I began to wonder exactly what it was about my projects that meant so much to me.

It was then that I realized, as God so often does with me, that this simple pleasure in my life ultimately pointed to my nature as a child of God.  He is, after all, the ultimate Creator.  Every thing that inspires me to create originates in His creativity.  Every fabric print, every shiny snip of ribbon, every image of nature, every smile on my children's faces, every sunset, every poem... even when the work of someone else inspires me...they were created by God and their work was undoubtedly inspired by some movement of God's design.  When I am filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment at a finished project, I must be sharing in a small part of what God felt when He finished the creation of the universe and world.  What an absolute honor that God allows us to share in this!

Not only can we share in this, but we are His creation, and He does look at each and every one of us and say "It is good"!  So whether or not you enjoy creating things, rejoice in the fact that you are a creation by the ultimate Creator, and He loves you.

(Please note that I have now included a link to my etsy shop online with my items for sale.  A portion of these sales will be the foundation of our fundraising for future missions as well as 10% going to our church, Frontline.  This is an exciting new venture for me and I am sure I will be sharing more of it with you in future posts!)

He Brings Me Flowers

Okay, I know I just posted yesterday but I really wanted to share what I was feeling today, especially as I woman to other women.

Yesterday was date night for Aldo and I.  I love date night - time away to have conversation, stare at each other and eat good food uninterrupted!  Well when Aldo got home from work he had a beautiful vase full of flowers and a very touching, personal card.  Now, I do not get flowers often, maybe once or twice year - and always for a specific occasion, like Mother's Day, so these "random" flowers really meant a lot to me and it was a very romantic gesture from my sweet hubby.

This morning while I ate breakfast the flowers were sitting in front of me at the table.  As I gazed at them I felt really overcome with emotion, I felt loved. I felt loved by my husband, but even more than that, I felt loved by God.

I can hear the minds thinking "Loved by God because your husband brought you flowers?" Yes! I started praising God because I realized that there are moments every day that He "brings me flowers"...small fragrant moments of beauty that permeate my life.  Gestures of His passionate love and pursuit for me.  If you read this, I encourage you to meditate on how God romances you through out your day.  That is what I am going to be doing today.  Just soaking up all the love that my Savior pours out on me.  If you are unaware of God's love for you, let this little post prompt you to take a moment, get away from all that life is right now, bring some worship music (google Jason Upton or Kim Walker, or Alberto and Kimberly Rivera and I am sure you will find something on YouTube - if you don't have any good worship music laying around), turn off all the gadgets, let the sunlight be the only light in the room, or a candle, and just sit there and receive God's love.  Trust me, it is there, waiting to be received.

Obedience - Part 2

So here I am again making an attempt to finish what I started with my post on obedience.  This time I want to give you some ways in which you can be obedient.  These are just a few ways that I have determined, through scripture, that the Lord reveals to us how to be obedient.  Because I feel strongly about supporting anything I say with scripture, there is a lot of that in this post - but it is SO good!

The Old Testament is full of laws, so no doubt the topic of obedience is addressed many times.  The big picture of obedience and what comes as a result can be seen in Exodus:

Exodus 19:4-6 God’s promise that results from obedience

4'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. 5'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."

This is a powerful statement from God, He truly has a royal life for those who choose Him.  Isaiah expands on this very thing, and starts to get more specific about way we can obey:

Isaiah 56:1-7 Obedience is heeding God’s commands and loving the Lord.

Rewards for Obedience to God
    1Thus says the LORD,
         "Preserve justice and do righteousness,
         For My salvation is about to come
         And My righteousness to be revealed.
    2"How blessed is the man who does this,
         And the son of man who takes hold of it;
         Who keeps from profaning the sabbath,
         And keeps his hand from doing any evil."
    3Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say,
         "The LORD will surely separate me from His people "
         Nor let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."
 4For thus says the LORD,
 "To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,
 And choose what pleases Me,
 And hold fast My covenant, 
5To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,
 And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
     I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. 
6"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
 To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD,
 To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath
     And holds fast My covenant; 7Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
 And make them joyful in My house of prayer 
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
 For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples."

When we get to the New Testament, we have the fulfillment of the old law in Jesus and his death and resurrection - YAY!  SO through salvation in Jesus Christ we obtain the inheritance of His obedience and as we pursue sanctification in Him, we find new ways to obey.  A great theme of Jesus' ministry is love, and so it is no wonder that love is a way in which we can be obedient.

2 John 1:6 - obedience and love

6And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Now that our salvation is found in Jesus, we are reminded that faith is still critical to our spiritual life and well being.  It is through obedient faith that we receive all that God has for us, here on earth and in heaven!

Hebrews 11:8 - obedience and faith

 8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

One of the most important aspects of obedience is the fact that our obedience is a tool that God uses to reach other people.  The way we obey and serve God is a testimony, and our confession of the gospel of Christ is obedience.

2 Corinthians 9:13-15 Obedience in sharing the Gospel

 13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

One aspect of obedience that we may often hope to overlook, is that of suffering.  Wouldn't we all rather not deal with that one?  However obedient suffering is a deeply intimate action of obedience that Jesus fully experienced and it is His suffering that sets an example of obedient suffering.

Hebrews 5:8 Obedience learned through suffering (Jesus)

 8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

So to wrap things up I want to emphasize obedience and love one more time.  Why do we obey God? Why do we have a desire to obey God? Because He loves us, and it was Jesus' supreme act of obedience, death on the cross, that enables us to intimately know God and begin our journey of relationship with Him.  Surely Jesus' obedient death on the cross, a deeply personal act of intense love for you, is worth pursuing obedience and love in a relationship with Him.


I think I was half joking when I mentioned in a previous post that I would save "obedience" for another day.  Obedience is so complex that my simplified version that I am sharing today is only one small facet of true obedience to the Lord. Just keep that in mind.  I am sure there is plenty to be added to what I am sharing, and as always...take the meat and leave the bones!  My revelations and personal anecdotes about my walk with Jesus are just that - mine.  I simply share them in hopes that some how God is glorified through my writing and honesty about my personal faith.

 Obey - to follow the commands or guidance of; to conform to or comply with

I don't know about you, but when I think of obedience my mind associates the word with feelings of negativity.  I think this is natural for my human state of being, because we are so often taught to embrace our individuality and avoid conforming to some other person's idea of who we are.  As a result of being parented and raised in the western culture, some of us have been exposed to negative authority.  Being a parent does not mean you always parent well, and the gift of authority that we as parents are entrusted with is not to be taken lightly.  Even those of us whose parents had the best intentions undoubtedly left an impression of negative authority on us at some point in our lives.  This can be true of teachers and family members who were given a place of authority in our young lives as well. 

The thing about Jesus is that He is perfect.  As a father, a teacher, a husband to the Church - in all His authority there is no negativity.  Reprove - yes, negativity - no. The beautiful thing about obedience to a perfect authority is that it is positive and reaps great benefits.  Perhaps one of the greatest principles of Christianity is obedience.  Current Christian movements seem to avoid this topic or water it down, perhaps from a fear of coming across as religious or legalistic.  Unfortunately this does not negate the importance of the principle of obedience.  The weight and relevance of the issue of obedience is stated fully in John 14:21:

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Isn't it interesting how the all important principle of love goes hand in hand with obedience?  If we obey, we are conforming - conforming to Jesus!  Conform means to give the same shape, outline, or contour to something.  Obedience to Jesus means we are being given the same shape, outline, and contour of Him!  So in order to truly fulfill our role as Christians (that is to be progressively sanctified in order to reflect the glory of the Lord), we must be obedient to Him. 

Later, in my next post, I'll explore ways that we can be obedient.  Until then, meditate on 1 John 2:5-6:

"But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

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