We are God's Works of Art

Friday, July 16, 2010

God's Masterpiece

God’s Masterpiece

      Have you ever noticed something and marveled at God’s handiwork. I can picture God smiling and saying, “It’s is good” as he looked at his creation. All summer long, since the leaves have filled in on the trees, my family and I have been blessed with a reminder of God‘s greatest masterpiece. There is a filed and a church behind our house. This past winter I was able to get several beautiful photos of the church covered with snow and marveled at the beauty of winter.

     Spring came and new life began to stir, flowers bloomed and leaves grew on the trees. Once again I was blessed with a beautiful scenic view as we looked out from our deck. Summer is here and we have been blessed to see a constant reminder of God’s love. The leaves of the tree on the far side of the church, or should I say the lack of leaves, have formed a cross. In the middle of the tree there is a cross shaped space where you can see the blue sky surrounded by beautiful green leaves.

     My mother was the first to notice it as she sat in our living room one morning. I looked up and there it was, a perfectly shaped cross. We’ve looked at the cross all summer long and pointed it out to family and friends who’ve been to visit. Everyone has been amazed and they usually whip out their cell phones and take a picture or two.

     We’ve had several strong storms and lots of high winds that have changed the shape of several trees in the area, but the cross is still there. Trees are growing, more leaves and branches are filling in and leaves have filled in all around it, but the cross is still there.

     When storms assault our life, illness, loss of a job, your car breaks down, divorce, or even death we can take comfort in the fact that what God accomplished through the cross is still there. Our faith may waver from time to time, but what God did through his son Jesus will never change. God’s love for us will stand forever.

     Today our lives get hectic with day-to-day living and other things that come up to fill our time. Our ‘branches’ get full, not only with school or work, but with ball games, the kids dance rehearsals, play practice, piano recitals and other ‘leaves’ of activities. The things just mentioned are not bad things, but if we get so involved we let other things crowd out time with God, we’re just too busy.

     I wonder how many squirrels are in the tree with the cross image? They are so close to the cross, but they just run round doing what squirrels do. They live their busy little lives never knowing that they are living so close to an amazing display of God’s love. Does that describe you?

     Have you ever watched a squirrel? They are rarely still; they rest a few minutes and then they're going again. I’m a lot like a squirrel. I need the words of Psalms 46:10 ever before me so I can read hourly, “Be still, and know that I am God”. I’m always busy doing something and I have to remind myself constantly to “Be Still” and spend some time with God. I need to ’Be Still” and talk to him, but I need to spend even more time listening to him.

     I’m so grateful that God has placed a reminder of his love before me. I’m always in awe as I look toward the cross and I can feel him smile and say, “I did this for you, my squirrelly child.

Paint each day with God’s love,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just A 'Walkin' On The Water

This design by JoSonja is called "Autumn Winds". I 'tweaked' her design to fit on my oval tray by painting more fruit and flowers on the border. I really enjoy painting her designs and I used the birds and fruit pattern on several accent pieces.

Just A ‘Walkin’ On The Water
Matthew 14:22-33

     Recently I taught the story of Jesus walking on the water to my kindergarten Sunday school class. As I studied the lesson, I could see it in my mind. It was a dark stormy night at sea, and the disciples sat in a little fishing boat as lightening streaked through the sky. One of the disciples probably noticed something out in the distance and called to the others. As they watched, they could see Jesus walking toward them on the water.

     Now, this must have been an amazing and scary sight; being fishermen they had seen a lot of things at sea and knew that people could not walk on the water. But Jesus came closer and closer, how could this be explained? Picture this, it was a dark stormy night, just right for a scary story, and we usually think of Jesus wearing a white robe. With every flash of lightening his form was probably illuminated on the water. They probably thought it must be a ghost, an apparition of some kind and they were terrified. Storms can be scary, especially when you’re out on the water being tossed about by the waves. The boat might capsize, they could drown; can you imagine how you would feel in a situation like that?

     But Jesus knew of their fears, he loved them and did not want them to be terrified, so he called out to them “Don’t be afraid, it’s me, Jesus”. Peter shouted back, “Lord if it really is you, and tell me to come to you”. Peter must have been thinking, "Wow, I want to walk on the water too; I know I would have been thinking along those lines. Jesus, probably smiling, told Peter to come to him.

     Now Peter had a choice to make, he could sit in the safety of the boat or he could step out on the angry waves. As the disciples murmured behind him and you know there had to be at least one who was saying, “Don’t do it, you’ll sink and drown”, Peter stepped out in faith. Would you have enough courage to step out on the water? Could you leave the safety of your boat?

     Peter took one step, then another; he straightened up and let go of the side of the boat. He was walking on the water. You k now he had to have felt the thrill of a life time. Behind him the others were still probable calling out, “Get back in this boat, what will we tell your mother when you drown?” He was probable listening to them when he begins to look around at the size of the waves. He knew how far they were from the shore and he knew how deep the water was.

     He took his eyes off of Jesus and what happened? He started to sink, that’s what! It’s the same with me, when I take my eyes off Jesus and starting looking at other things, or start listening to other people, I get into trouble. Realizing he was probable going to drown, Peter called out to Jesus for help. The bible says immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is just a breath away? He is always waiting for us to call out to him.

     The next line, “Oh, ye of little faith” is one used often around our house. Jesus said, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Why did Peter doubt? Peter had enough faith to get out of the boat, but he became discouraged by what his friends said and what he saw around him. He took his eyes off Jesus and that’s when the trouble started! Sometimes we focus more on our problems than on Jesus.

     The bible goes on to say when they climbed into the boat, the winds died down. The storm stopped and everyone on the boat fell down and worshiped Jesus, saying,” Truly you are the Son of God.” Whew Wee, don’t you know that there was some kind of praisin’, singin’ and shoutin’ going on in that little boat? I can just see that boat bobbing around out there on the water as they praised God. Their eyes were opened and they knew that Jesus was truly who he said he was. The Son of God was in their midst!

     I’m reminded of a story I once heard of a Methodist minister and a Catholic priest who loved to fish. Their friend, a Baptist preacher begged the other two to take him with them to their favorite fishin’ spot and all three set out early one morning. They had rowed the boat to the middle of the lake when the priest remembered that the bait was left sitting on the picnic table. “Don’t worry, I’ll go get it”, he said as he stepped over the side of the boat and walked on the water to the shore. The Baptist preacher was too stunned to say anything. He had just witnessed a miracle, he sat staring as the priest got the bait and walked back to the boat.

     His two friends didn’t seem to notice that he sat there slack jawed, dazed, and in a state of shock. A few minutes later the Methodist minister realized that he had left his sun screen in the car. “I need to go get my sun screen”, he said as he hopped over the side of the boat and walked to the shore. When he returned the cuffs of his pants were not even wet.

     All at once the Baptist preacher let out with a shout and said that he was going to walk on the water! If a Methodist minister and a Catholic priest could walk on the water, a good ol’ Baptist preacher should be able to do it to! He stepped out of the boat and quickly sank to the bottom. Turning to the priest, the Methodist minister said,” Recon’ we oughta’ tell him where the rocks are?”

     Do you know where your rocks are? Or better yet, do you know who your ‘Rock’ is? Jesus is my rock and my salvation says the psalmist David. Like Peter, Jesus keeps me safe when the waves of an angry world come crashing in about me. When I seem to be drowning in my troubles, Jesus lifts me up. I just need to keep my eyes on him and he will see me through.

     When life is trying to pull you under, who lifts you up? My prayer today is that you and I will stand on the same 'ROCK'.

Paint each day with God's love,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Psalm 23

Here is a tray that I painted. I love this design by JoSonja and I have painted it several times. I changed the traditional colors to blues and greens to match my bedroom.

Psalm 23

     Most everyone has heard Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd…” Some of you may have it memorized. I’m sorry to say, I could say it only if I were saying it along with someone else, but not alone. I used to have it memorized, but the old gray matter is not what it used to be; and it doesn‘t help that they keep changing translations on me. This year I plan to re-memorize a lot of the verses I’ve forgotten over the years.

     As I was looking over the passage, I thought about David writing the verses. He could relate to God being a good shepherd more than I can. I’ve never owned sheep, but I do have a cat, and she has taught me a lot about my relationship with God. I would love to tell you that I’m a good little kitty, I climb up in God’s lap every day and spend time just loving on him and purring. I could tell you that, but I would be lying.

     David said that God cares for his people like a shepherd cares for his sheep. Just what does a shepherd do? They feed, water, and keep their flock safe. I’ve heard that sheep are very dumb and need to be watched over carefully so that they will not wonder off a cliff, get lost, or get attacked by wild animals. I wonder if the sheep are appreciative of all this attention.

     “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul.” (V.1-2) Miss Alli Cat is not like a lamb. Sure I feed, water, and keep her safe; but she is not thankful. She thinks it’s her right to be taken care of, and if we’re slow to get her food to her, she loudly voices her opinion on the situation. Oh, forgive me Lord, how many times have I grumbled because I thought you were to slow in answering my prayers, or when you gave me an answer I didn‘t want? How many ‘green pastures’ and ‘quite waters’ have I missed because I went my own way?

     “He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.” (v.3) Have you ever tried to herd a cat? Impossible, cats are very independent! If you want them to go one way, they will turn up their little feline noses, and go in the opposite direction. The story of Jonah comes to mind, and I hate to tell you I’ve done the same thing to God. There have been times when he wanted me to do something, but I wanted to do something else. I’ve turned and gone my own way when the Good Shepherd only wanted to lead me in paths of righteousness. How much better off I would have been if I had followed him. Lord, please forgive me, restore my soul and guide my path.

     Verse 4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” The only thing Miss Alli seems to fear is the grand kids and I’ve never taken the ‘rod’ to her. She is just being a cat and that’s the way God made her. But for us, sometimes, being corrected can be a good thing. How could we ever learn to do what is right if we were never corrected for our mistakes? God loves us and that is why he corrects us. He wants us to be the best we can be. This verse also lets us know that God is always there to comfort us in our grief and gives us rest.

     “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (v.5). My husband and I often talk about the fact that Miss Alli is treated better than some children, and she considers being under the table in the presence of her enemies a good thing, that’s where the grandkids drop their food. As a beloved member of the family, she has it made, she is loved, well cared for, and all her needs are met. Sometimes Miss Alli will grace us with her presents, but only when it suits her. How often do we take God’s blessings for granted? I try to thank God for everything; I even caught myself thanking him for allowing me to see a ‘possum’ walking along the road one night. Then I thought, will God think I’m crazy? But then I realized that he would know I’m crazy long before I do and he was probably just glad to hear from one of his kids.

     “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v.6). We adopted Miss Alli from the local shelter and she has been with us now for over 13 years. Since she is an indoor cat, we expect to have her many more years until she is called to 'Kitty Cat Heaven'. We will continue to cater to her wishes and be her people. As a child of God, I know that my Heavenly Father will continue to lavish me with his goodness, mercy and love and when it’s time for me to leave this earth; I will dwell with him forever.
Lord, please help me, after writing this, I just realized that I’m your stubborn independent cat!
Paint each day in God’s love,


Here is a photo of  Miss Alli Cat

Thursday, July 1, 2010


     When you hear the word ‘Masterpiece’, what comes to mind? Do you think of Rembrandt, Michelangelo, or Picasso? Most people think of something wonderful, a beautiful work of art. A beautiful tall skyscraper may be an architect’s crown and glory, his ‘Masterpiece’. My cousin is a pastry chef and I’ve seen and tasted several of her ‘Masterpieces’, yum! Webster gives the definition as 1. An outstanding work of art or craft. 2. The greatest work, as of an artist. 3. Something superlative of its kind. But did you know that you are one of God’s masterpieces?

     In the Garden of Eden after God made Adam and Eve he said, “It is good.” If God says something is good, you had better believe it, he knows good! In Psalm 139:13-14 we read, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Again we are told that we are made by God and that his works are wonderful. I believe that the bible is true so that means that we are wonderful, a ‘Masterpiece’ of God.

     Just think you and I are considered ‘Masterpieces’ by God. A few years back there was a saying, “God made me and God doesn’t make junk!” The next time you are thinking, “I wish I had strait blond hair instead of this bright orange, curly stuff on my head” or “I’m too fat and ugly, I want to look like a supermodel.” Just remember, most supermodels weren’t born looking that way; God made you the way you are and he considers you pretty special. So special that he gave his own Son, Jesus, to die for your sins. He loves you and wants to spend all eternity with you.

How can you spend eternity with God, who made you and loves you?

     It’s as easy as A B C. Admit that you are a sinner. Have you ever told a lie, cheated on a test or took something that did not belong to you? Everyone has done something wrong at least once in their life, some of us have done so a lot more than once. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The first thing you need to do is admit to God that you’ve sinned and ask Him to forgive you.

     The next step is to Believe that God sent his only son to die for your sins and that he rose again on the third day. Put your trust in him that he has forgiven you for your sins. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall never parish but have everlasting life.”

     If you have Admitted your sin, Believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that he died for the forgiveness of your sins, the next step is to Commit your life to him and follow him in baptism. Give your life to Christ and make him the Lord of your life. You can do this by reading your bible and taking God’s words into your heart. Find a good bible believing church and there you can learn more about God’s love for you. It’s important to have good Christian friends to pray for you and help you in your new way of living. Spend time talking with God each day and he will become a close personal friend to you.

     If you have followed these steps and accepted Christ, I would love to hear from you and welcome you into the family of God. Now you are really a ‘Masterpiece’ of God.

Paint each day with God’s love,