Author: Candice Coates

Thanks in Everything: The Art of Thanks Giving by Briana Lassiter

Lately, the Lord has really been dealing with me on thanksgiving. Really it’s been about a straight year of Him actively teaching me about this topic and I kind of thought I had the hang of it until a couple weeks ago when He asked me to start thanking Him for the things that are not in my life. As a child of God there are things that God daily keeps from entering your life and harming you. In Psalms 91 He says that He gives His angels charge over you lest you strike your feet on a stone. He also says again in Psalms 121 that He is your keeper, He keeps your life and He keeps you from all evil. Sometimes it’s really easy to focus our prayers on the facts that we aren’t where we want to be yet or we still have healing to receive in certain areas that are causing us pain, and we forget to thank Him for the things that He has kept or removed from us. Whether …

Cultivating Steadfast Trust

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” ~ISAIAH 26:3 Steadfast. The word itself may evoke the feeling of self-effort, that you have to exert some strenuous force in order to accomplish some task or goal. And unfortunately, man has made the things of God, things meant to be freeing, into things that bind with the yoke of self-effort and righteousness. But the peace that I gain in this word, having steadfast trust, is birthed out of the truth that steadfast trust comes from a mind that is focused on the Lord. When we love someone, it is no great effort to gaze upon them, to sit in their presence. It is no great thing or effort to bask in their love and devotion and give that in return. The Lord Jesus invites us to abide in and with Him (JOHN 15). He tells us that He stands at the door of our hearts and wishes to dine with us (REVELATION 3:20). Just by reading these passages, we can’t help but see that the …

Jesus in the Leaves: Seeing Christ in the Season of Transition by Regina Hernandez

Autumn and Spring are my two favorite seasons. I love them for so many reasons but mostly because they both represent transformation. My one complaint about Autumn is: it feels like the shortest of all the seasons, especially in the south where it seems to last only a week or two at best. One of my favorite facts about autumn is: the green in leaves of trees comes from the chlorophyll; so when a tree begins the process of dying for winter and produces less and less chlorophyll, the yellow and orange we see are the true colors of the tree’s leaves.  In the process of a tree dying, of losing life, we see it’s true colors. Those colors have always been there, they have just been hidden by the overabundance of life-giving chlorophyll. Even better yet, those true colors are a little different from year to year depending on how much the sun, heat, weather, and other factors have played a role in that tree’s life for the past three seasons. When I enter …

Rules versus Mighty Revelation

*Revised from June 16, 2014 I have since I can remember, held firm to the belief that in any form of art, one must know the rules before they can properly break them, (thank you, Pablo Picasso). Being a person that is still learning to go through the process of things, I find that I often remind myself of this truth; learn the rules and then break them. Break them through revelation. In art, in writing, there are set rules for the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s.’ Why does this color go with this one? Why must I tone my canvas before starting to paint? Why do I need to be concerned with the first-person narrative versus the third person? You get the drift. Creating, and being good at it, involves knowledge but it also includes a great level of instinct. Both go hand in hand. Rules will only take you so far but instinct powered by Revelation can take you to heights you never dreamed of. So what is the difference between the two; Rules and …

Making Friends with Failure by Briana Lassiter

This year I’ve had the joy of attending several different conferences that were very interactive and learning was encouraged by the act of doing. The first time I went I quietly observed and didn’t participate much. In a new group of people learning new things, it was not my comfort zone to participate and risk making mistakes and I left with a lot of unanswered questions. The next conference, Jesus helped me to get out of my comfort zone and be very hands-on, and because of my participation, I left with a very different learning experience. It can be extremely uncomfortable making mistakes, but when you are in a safe place where mistakes are part of the learning process that everyone benefits from as you learn, it accelerates your growth in a way that quietly refusing to participate never will. If you are experiencing fear of failure and it’s keeping you from your own learning process, be assured that your mistakes will not keep you from your Father or His approval of you. Divorce yourself …

The Art of Thanksgiving Series

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” ~PSALM 136:1 November has finally come upon us and with it comes the holiday season. We begin to prepare our hearts for the Season of Light, dedicating and celebrating with Hanukkah and remembering the birth of our Saviour during Christmas. But for those in the States, Thanksgiving is the crown jewel of November. But more than a day, more than dressing and turkey dinners, there is something to be said about thanksgiving–literally giving the King of Kings thanks for all that He is and all that He has done. Giving thanks should be more than just an event that takes place once a year or even a week. It should be something that its joyfully practiced in all seasons, every day, in the good and in the sorrowful. Journey along with us here at ICFTS as we explore the life-transforming glory and blessing of thanksgiving.

Waiting for Your Eggs to Hatch: 3 Things To Do While You Wait

*Revised from November 18, 2014 For many years now, I have been likening my creativity to that of motherhood. I often speak of my creations as my children, each with their own personality, some more giving than others, while some are just outright unruly. Through the span of the years, my creativity has produced many fruits that I cannot help but be grateful for. My spirit, soul, and mind have truly been fed and exercised which is why I created this platform for in the first place. But there have been seasons, and will likely be others that come, that as if everything is at a sudden standstill. These are seasons where you feel like you have nothing to say or give but at the same time, you recognize that you have so eggs in your creative basket. I will admit that I have experienced this anxious feeling while sitting in my creative silence. What to do? What to do? What to do? If I could compare this feeling to anything, it would be the …

The Sacrifice of Praise: Faith Emotions pt 2

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” ~HEBREWS 13:15 Have you ever wondered about the verse that says to give a sacrifice of praise? Have you ever wondered what exactly that meant or what that costs? I believe that most if not all of us have during the seasons of our faith-walks. I think the simplest and most profound answer to this is found in the exploration of our faith emotions, and how our valid emotions from circumstances, hurt feelings, broken hearts and disappointments, tend to dictate the trajectory of our praise or the lack thereof. THE DAM OF HURT FEELINGS Hurt feelings are a shared part of the human experience and oftentimes, no matter the cause or the culprit, they lead us to blame God for them. We not only shut off from men when we are experiencing emotional hurt and heartache but many of us tend to withdraw from our Beloved Father. Our lips close to anything but complaint and we …

Claim Your Outcome: Choose Your Own Adventure pt 3

The choice is yours’. We’ve heard that in many different scenarios but often times we tend to shun away from that conceptual truth when it comes to our faith-walks. Yes, we as children of God, creatives seeking His divine purpose for our lives, have surrendered our lives and eternity to Him. Yes, we like Christ Jesus, should daily be in submission to His plan with a not our wills but Yours ever on our lips. In short, His will should always be our will…but we do have a choice. THE CHOICE TO TRIUMPH “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,  in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.” ~DUETERONMY 30:15-16 From the onset of creation, our Heavenly Father has given us choices, choices that would dictate the course of our lives. It is never …

Get Out Of The Box!: A Challenge To Be Creative

“You’ll never think outside the box if you are constantly looking inside someone else’s…Sometimes the most incredible imagination sparks from nothing.” ~CANDICE COATES We are all inspired by something or someone. This is the chain of life and it is a good thing. As King Solomon put it, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (ECCLESIASTES 1:9) The beauty of life is that with each passing of generation to generation, what was once ‘usual’ to the person stepping into eternity, becomes something ‘unique’ for the person who experiences it for the first time. The old and forgotten becomes new again. It is a beautiful thing to glean from the creative wisdom of others, but when we no longer allow our own imaginations to spark with new creative fire, because of the shackles of fear which tell us to play it safe, we are doing nothing more than regurgitating ideas. Our Lord Jesus spoke and created from nothing (HEBREWS 11:3) and in His goodness, He gave us the DNA to do the same. Creativity takes chances. Imagination …