Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson




I stumbled across a song  that is a good fit for Good Friday.  One time I volunteered for a very large event and they placed me by the stage when this lady Ce Ce Winans sang.  She seriously shakes the house when she sings, she is so anointed!:)  I hope it touches your heart as you reflect over this Easter weekend.  He understands are suffering and will always carry us through. There is always hope because of His wonderful sacrifice He did on the cross for each and everyone of us.  
~🎼♯🎼🌼🎼♯🎼~

  

A simple sketch
I was working on.

Every act, every deed of justice and mercy and benevolence, makes heavenly music in Heaven. ~Ellen G. White

 


Happy Easter!
All art really does is keep you focused on questions of humanity, and it really is about how do we get on with our maker.
~David Bowie



Mercy Said No
I was just a child, when I felt the Savior leading
I was drawn to what I could not understand
And for the cause of Christ, I have spent my days believing
That what He'd have me be, is who I am

As I've come to see the weaker side of me
I realize His grace is what I'll need
When sin demanded justice for my soul

[Chorus]
Mercy said no
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away
You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no
sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away 
Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no

For God so loved the world, that He sent His son to save us
From the cross He built a bridge to set us free
Oh, but deep within our hearts, there is still a war that rages
And makes a sacrifice so hard to see

As midnight fell on crucifixion day
The light of hope seemed oh so far away
As evil tried to stop redemption's flow

[Chorus]
Mercy said no
I'm not gonna let you go
I'm not gonna let you slip away


You don't have to be afraid
Mercy said no
sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away

Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no

And now when heaven looks at me
It's through the blood of Jesus
Reminding me of one day long ago



Ce Ce Winans -Live- Mercy said no  ♪



For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#6KforWater


          I just met Eugine who is 6 years old 
                          and lives in Kenya! 


 I am walking for Eugine at the Global 6K for Water on May 6th. These kids are real and I would love for you to join me at the 6K so that you too can help provide clean water to a child in need!

To sponsor this little guy...
https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child/detail?item=2711645&campaign=3200651&utm_source=teamworldvision&utm_medium=event&utm_campaign=spring2017-water6k

Or find another child with the same birthday! 

https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child?campaign=226220126

Sign up today for
the Global 6K for Water!
#6KforWater 

For your friends and your whole family!

https://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=848
Could you use some exercise?;)
 Every step you take on May 6th for the #6KforWater  is a step for a child that won't get sick from contaminated drinking water.




In many families women and children bear the weight of fetching water for the whole family.

The long trek to get water for women and children are hours that can be spent at school, running a small business or making an income to take care of their families.


   Join World Vision’s Global 6K Walk for Water to bring clean water to more families that need it. You can take part in the event on May 6 wherever you are.
Life can change for a child like Eugine!

https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child/detail?item=2711645&campaign=3200651&utm_source=teamworldvision&utm_medium=event&utm_campaign=spring2017-water6k
I would love to find a sponsor for Eugine before May 6th!
How about you?

             Clean water changes everything!


                                                                                  Photo credit; Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
                                                                                    
                  Clean water = happy kids!;) 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday morning "The Tapestry"

The Tapestry
Debbie Milam

When we embrace the many parts of our experience we discover a magnificent creation. . . Every moment is but a thread, a thread of consciousness embracing the very essence of life.  Some threads are brilliant and dazzling while others are tattered and torn.  When looked upon in isolation the tattered threads look inferior.  Yet when woven together by the wondrous hands of the Creator, the light magically blends with the dark.  As joy coalesces with pain,

God creates the magnificent tapestry that is life.


Sometimes things that look like a knotted mess like my threads shown here can be part of God's beautiful story. Honestly most of the time I see is a tangled mess, but I know God makes everything beautiful in his time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11
I came across this story today, "GOD'S EMBROIDERY"
enjoy and Happy Sunday!


When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat. She would smile at me, look down and gently say, "My son, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side."

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother's voice say, "Son, come and sit on my knee." This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy. Then Mother would say to me, "My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing."

Many times through the years I have looked up to my Heavenly Father and said, "Father, what are You doing?" He has answered, "I am embroidering your life." I say, "But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can't they all be bright?"

The Father seems to tell me, "'My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side."

Author Unknown



“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”

~Corrie ten Boom


The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Valley of hope

If God were small enough to be understood, 
He would not be big enough to be worshiped.
~Evelyn Underhill




Every time I paint with oils, I tend to see colors in undertones. Even driving down the street, sights like trees, grass and clouds seem to show a deeper color, a color beneath the surface.  A melody of undertones displayed under the surface of things only to be revealed when light hits just the right way at different times of the day.

Even in fine photography, time and place will give a different light to a photo, as well as the season it was captured in.  Every season in itself has its own kind of beauty. It seems like sunrises and sunsets are more vivid in the gray and dark days of winter and with the light of the Fall, the season reveals gold and red tones. Spring, represents newness in light bright colors against black backgrounds. In the Summer, blankets of grasses and flowers are present in the countryside; valleys of wild grasses and flowers are in shades of yellow as far as the eye can see.

 Valley, in definition means... a low stretch of land between hills, especially one that has a river flowing through it.

In the valley, we fail to see the multi color displays on the nearby mountains and sky beneath the shadows of the fog.  Valleys are where we develop the trust that the fog will lift and reveal just the right light to reveal the layers of colors, some maybe man has not even discovered yet. 


New painting "valley of hope" #8
https://www.etsy.com/listing/507320730/new-painting-valley-of-hope-original-art?ref=shop_home_active_1

Prints available on fineartamerica...
https://fineartamerica.com/featured/valley-of-hope-stephanie-callsen.html?newartwork=true

If you feel like your are in a valley right now and the fog is blocking your view: Bring it under the light of God's word.  Let His presence reveal the hope that lies beneath the surface. The colorful undertones of His promises that...

He loves us,
His grace is enough,
He will carry us through,
He knows our weaknesses,
He is our strength,
His glory will be revealed in us.



fact notes...
If you live in a valley, you probably get more fog than they do up in the hills around you. Fog tends to be more common down in the valley, the low area that often forms near a river.


Grace works that way. It's a kind word from a gentle person with an impossible prayer.
It's a force sometimes transmitted best
hand to hand in a dark place.
~Bob Goff

 
The theory of color has me thinking! I have heard of people that died, went to heaven and came back and seen colors that are not even here on earth.  I wonder if those colors are here on earth but the light is so different here that the undertone is not revealed.  Hmm. :)


Do you see the blue undertone?

fact notes...
Albert Munsell brought attention to a systematic way of defining color.  He believed there are three different dimensions to describe color.  His three dimensional color theory built a bridge between art and science. He even compared music and notes with this theory.

"in music, one can simply hear a note and how it relates to other notes based on the position of the note on the staff". 


This is very interesting!I have to study more on this when I have the time, it kind of reminds me of shape notes and how we hear them. 

How shape notes have a three dimensional sound (at least) in one note. 


A good article
on how undertones
work with paint.


“It may sound strange to say
that color has three dimensions,
but it is easily proved by the fact
that each of them can be measured."
~Albert Henry Munsell


How color impact your psychology, behavior and emotions is another story!  The emotional nature of color itself can affect your mood. This is a complex issue that has been studied for centuries. For example blue/calming, yellow/cheerful, green/nature.

Well that's another story...


 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
 they make it a place of springs;
 the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
 They go from strength to strength,
  till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:5-7

There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
Hosea 2:15

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10





Friday, March 3, 2017

Clean water/event 2017

Join team World Vision Global 6K for Water!
On May 6th, 2017, I will be joining thousands of others around the globe to run 6k and provide clean water to children in communities around the world. 

Walking in Sabina's Shoes
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bEtqZoD4V4


Sponsoring a child is a personal way
to show God’s love to a child in need.

For $39 a month, you'll help that child

and their community to stand tall, free from poverty

           

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sweet fellowship


Anytime you share life stories with other people, you know, you are acknowledging their humanity and kind of accessing some things about yourself, and other people start to expect things about themselves. It's kind of like a fellowship.~Jill Scott



One of the things I love to do is play tennis. I prefer playing outdoors but the rest of my family likes to play indoors, so when I can get one of them outside to play it is quite the accomplishment. During the early spring, the weather is mild and the fragrant trees are in bloom.  Once in a while, a wonderful scented cross breeze goes through the area where the courts are. When this happens it makes it an ideal condition to play tennis, especially when there is warm sunshine and mild temperatures. 

 In fact, it is difficult to stop smiling sometimes when I play tennis outdoors, and I was told that I need to get a game face (which I am working on right now) to be taken seriously.  How easy to forget your cares on a beautiful sun filled day like this. This makes living in the Northwest worthwhile even though we don't always see the sun here, sometimes even for long stretches at a time. When the weather is good here it is really hard to stay indoors on a day off. 

 Last July was one of those days.  My heart was heavy that day with all that was going on in the news at the time, and I had an injury on my right arm so it was painful to play tennis.  The weather was so beautiful that day that my daughter finally agreed to play.

During the spring and summer time you can often see friendly swallows flying around the outdoor tennis court area. The same 5 or so friendly swallows seem to play and dart around us as if they recognize us and are glad to see us. I know this sounds impossible,  but after that day I wondered, could these birds really recognize us and enjoy our company? 



“Human fellowship
can go to great lengths,
but not all the way.
Fellowship with God
can go to
all lengths."

~ Oswald Chambers



I was really glad my daughter was there to witness an incredible moment that never happened before and has never happened again. We must of played on these courts over 30 times before and although we enjoyed the fellowship of these little birds darting past our net after every hit, I really didn't think they were responding to us personally!  We usually play for an hour and a half but that day we had to cut it really short due to my injury (tennis elbow), so admitting defeat we walked back to the car.  Just then, something remarkable happened! The same five swallows that dart back and forth across the nets when we played, circled us as we walked back to the car.  Each one gently circled us completely around, one at a time in complete order, alternating right to left about three feet from the ground.  Each one taking turns circling us exactly the same way. 

 
New Valentine embroidery . https://www.etsy.com/listing/497738062/valentine-embroidery-little-picture?ref=shop_home_active_1



We never left without playing at least an hour and these little birds seemed to notice. I went online to see if this is normal behavior for a swallow and I found a blog that shows a game that they play with each other with a feather. I could not find any evidence that they recognize people or even know their routines.  So I probably wouldn't even share this without a witness and I would have wrote it off as a "Stephanie moment". :)


“Unity is necessary to the outpouring of the Spirit of God. If you have 120 volts of electricity coming into your house but you have broken wiring, you may turn on the switch, but nothing works – no lights come on, the stove doesn’t warm, the radio doesn’t turn on. Why? Because you have broken wiring. The power is ready to do its work…, but where there is broken wiring, there is no power. Unity is necessary among the children of God if we are going to know the flow of power…to see God do His wonders.” 
~ A. W. Tozer

How many times are we so focused on our present circumstances that we don't even notice the sweet fellowship placed right in front of us?  I can image God delights in us too and circles us as if to say "I see you",
"I enjoy your company",
"I love you",
"why are you leaving"



Note to self...don't bring the dog when you play tennis!:)

Some of the most sweetest fellowships on earth are friendships, family and loved ones.  I'm sure the fellowships in heaven are even greater.










But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7




 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How to have a lovely day

                His banner over me is love


Painting named "Grace"

I can't help but smile a little about how much "Spring" I put into this painting!  I am not a big Winter person, so usually by January I am done with the gloomy weather and am ready for Spring flowers, warm weather, longer days.  Usually hearing the birds singing will indicate that Spring is coming even though the dark gloomy skies tell me otherwise.

One of my relatives has had enormous health issues that has required me to go to countless doctor appointments lately. Many are one after another due to more than one health issue. This requires me to push and lift a heavy wheelchair in not so wheelchair friendly areas and lift it in and out of a car over and over. While this requires a lot of physical strength on my part.

In this post "How to have a lovely day" I might of gone a little over board with the flower explosion.  :) I hope this little Spring bird will lighten and brighten your day and bring you a smile as you face your own challenges.  Celebrating the fact that God sees you in your struggle "whatever it is" and will carry you through.



Winter...
It too will pass.

In that we can have the grace to have a lovely day!:)


Allow your heart to be recklessly extravagant in love, grace, mercy, and kindness. ~Bobby Schuller 



Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good. ~Lucy Larcom





Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
Song of Solomon 2:4


Be strong and take heart,  
all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Saturday, January 7, 2017

His grace is sufficient for me.

Faith is like a tender plant, rooted in Christ alone, watered by the Spirit and the Word, strengthened by the winds of adversity and the sunshine of  blessing.~Anne Graham Lotz




A New Year gently greets me with a soft blanket of snow, much different than joyful bursts of energy from my grandchildren and relatives that came though my door in the last few months. The last of the company (except one daughter) left yesterday, so the cooking and rushing around during the holiday season has come to a close. 

All creative projects and ideas have been put away like books on a shelf ready to be reexamined, dusted off and completed.  Art has been so much of the way I express myself that it is impossible for me to stop creating in one way or another.  Organizing all those thoughts on a piece of artwork helps me to express what sometimes can't always be said in words. For me at least, I learn more from visuals so its understandably why I express myself the same way!

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.~Martin Luther

I have learned so much this year, mostly from books, articles and people. You really never get to the place where you have it all figured out.  That is something that you seldom figure out when you are young. I appreciate the patience that God has in me in all my flaws and imperfections.

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

Fact notes... Love is mentioned 551 times in the bible.(NIV)
   

Out of all the books, posts, blogs and articles I have  read lately the one I always go back to is the bible.  It is living, breathing, pure poetry and shoots straight to the heart.  Holy Spirit inspired, written by ordinary men, guided by the hand of God.  Words that can bypass the condition of the human heart and speak to it as if it was written only for you. 




Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12
         

When storms rise up (and they will) and your ship is tossed about in seemingly endless blows, aimlessly adrift in a ocean of cares.  God's word is the still small voice that says "Peace be still", "trust in me" All things are working out for your good!



One of my New Year's goals is just to breathe, trust and try not to over think.  Of course I always have many projects on the shelf as I take on new challenges this year and most of those are challenges I give myself.  I can rest assure in God's grace and mercy and that He sees me as I am and still loves me.  With all my tattered sails, weaknesses and my very own weathered ship.


If God sees our brokenness as beautiful, how does He see us when we think we have it all together?

What if it is our very own weaknesses that are used by Him to shine His light to a hurting world?

What if His glory can ONLY be revealed in broken places?

What if that broken place is in the heart?




For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12


Fact notes..."'Truth"


So in that alone I can breathe, and rest in the Father who loves me and you so deeply and is the anchor of our souls.






You have searched me, Lord,  and you know me.


You know when I sit and when I rise;
  you perceive my thoughts from afar.


You discern my going out and my lying down;
  you are familiar with all my ways.


Before a word is on my tongue
  you, Lord, know it completely.


You hem me in behind and before,
  and you lay your hand upon me.


Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
  too lofty for me to attain.



Where can I go from your Spirit?
  Where can I flee from your presence?



If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
  if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.



If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
  if I settle on the far side of the sea,



even there your hand will guide me,
  your right hand will hold me fast.



 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
  and the light become night around me,”



 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
  the night will shine like the day,
  for darkness is as light to you.


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.

 My frame was not hidden from you
  when I was made in the secret place,
  when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.



Your eyes saw my unformed body;
  all the days ordained for me were written in your book
  before one of them came to be.



 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
  How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,
  they would outnumber the grains of sand.

when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139 1-18