Success is in Your Hands: Faith for Creatives

And they overcame him [the evil one] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” ~Revelation 12:11 *Bracets added

The scripture says we overcome by the word of our testimony. When it comes to being successful when it comes to victory, one of the greatest ways to secure this is to tell it, not only for the encouragement of others but to remind yourself when you begin to face other trials.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ~PSALM 37:4-5

Success and victory go hand and hand. Both are a mark of triumphing over an obstacle or challenge or in the case of this scripture the enemy of our very lives and souls, Satan.

Here is my testimony that I share as a seed of faith for you. In 2015 I was laden with change; change in calling, change in career path, change in vision, change in relationships. Every change brought me to a new level of faith and deeper love for Christ Jesus.

He has always been sweet and perfect, kind and faithful, but it was and is as I overcome and begin to trust His character more that I am able to see and relate to Him in this sweetness.

One of my biggest struggles is in dealing with provision. I have never really lacked for anything BUT I had trained myself to work for everything, leaving very little room for God to show Himself faithful in providing for me.

Even though I am confident of His love for me, I have struggled with the question of will He meet my daily needs.

I have grown much in this area.

Matthew 6:24-30 Jesus expresses His great love for us, instructing us not to worry about our daily needs but to seek first His Kingdom and its righteousness and all our daily needs will be met. He knows we have need of them, but it takes faith in Him, faith in His character to allow Him to prove Himself here.

And what is His Kingdom? As Romans 14:17 states, “ for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Basically and gloriously, to seek His Kingdom is to continuously agree with His word that you are no longer a sinner but a new creation in Him, His Righteousness by faith and then taking hold of peace, and joy that is found in His Holy Spirit now indwelling you.

So in light of my changes in 2015 and beyond, I have started several new business ventures, one of them being transforming ICFTS into a platform that is more a community. The blessing is that as I take steps in faith (and even before I began) I heard and continue to hear Him say, “You’ll have everything you need.”

Hearing is one thing, believing and putting your faith in what you have heard is another. I decided to put my faith in what I heard and did not question Him.

Psalm 37:4-5 Also delight yourself in the LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD. Trust also in Him…”

But as a test of my growing faith, while I was in the midst of getting a commissioned art piece finished, I reached for my trusty bottle of varnish only to find that it had dried into a lump!

This was not good being that the holidays were right around the corner and I had very limited time. Instead of accusing the Savior, I testified with MY WORDS, reminding myself through faith what HE had said, that I would have everything that I needed. (PSALM 103:20)

Later that day, cleaning up for the day of work and organizing some of my other tools, I came across a can of spray varnish that I had only used once!

I immediately did a happy dance, not because of the can, but because my faith had increased and I had abided in the faithfulness of His Word and received the fruit of faith!

I have learned to trust Him more. I am learning to rest and trust Him more with confidence because I am HIS righteousness and in this, I have joy and peace! I was victorious in my trial then and have been in many since then. I gained success! And the greatest success is found in walking with Him and holding to His hand!

*Revised from November 6, 2015. 

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

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Perfect Timing: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse Jan 18th 2016

Today is Thursday! My favorite day of the week, and as always here are my results for Monday's Muse! To see the rules and even give them a try yourself, please do so by clicking HERE.

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Perfect timing

She read the words again, this time through tear blurred eyes. After last night, after her rant, she hadn’t known what today would have brought her.  She most certainly hadn’t expected this.

The look in his chocolate brown eyes, the way his brow had creased with every burst of emotion that she spit at him surely had warranted anything but such a declaration. To me, you are perfect. Perfect. He thought she was perfect, still believed it…even after everything.

Madison felt like nothing short of a failure. All of her hopes and dreams seemed to have sifted through her fingers like sand, a horrible reminder of how time had rushed away from her leaving her, leaving them barren.

They had tried everything, shots, treatments, planning, even several different types of birth control to regulate her horrible irregularity. And what had she gotten for it? A mass of  frustration, disappointment and almost 30 pounds of weight, none of which had a baby attached to it.

Harris deserved better. She’d meant to say so but all that came out of her mouth was recklessness born of her own pain. Harris had tried to speak, tried to pull her down off the cliff of emotional suicide, but it was no use. She could hear none of it. She was angry. Angry at herself, angry at Harris, and angry at God for not answering her prayers.

She collapsed onto the sofa, still staring at the posted sign scrolled by Harris’ hand. The recitation of their spoken vows echoed in her memory pressing more tears from her eyes for better or for worse. This, dry land, had indeed been their worse, she felt at her worse and yet her husband proved his love and meaning of every vow he’d made before their God and Father.

But Madison didn’t understand. She couldn’t understand why she could have the job at the company she wanted, why she could have the car she desired, the bank accounts so fat with cash flow that they made her enormous midsection look like a slight case of bloating. But yet with all the answered prayers, they could not have a child. She couldn’t give Harris what he wanted the most.

“I just want him to have that, Lord. I want him to be happy with me,” She sniffled.

“I am happy with you,” His words startled her. Harris met her gaze but closed the gap between them, dropping to his knees same as he’d done five years ago when he’d proposed. Even the mist of tears was in his eyes. “You are perfect to me, Madison. And I love you.”

She felt the salt rising in her mouth with more tears. Defeat was so ugly, but she somehow felt less of the blow with the beauty that knelt before her with him thumbing away her tears, ignoring his own.

Harris pulled her forehead to his before he kissed her tenderly. “Let’s bring an end to all our trying, okay?” He whispered.

Madison wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and rested her face just beneath his chin. She gladly welcomed the end to trying. Harris continued, “And let’s set our hearts on trusting. We may not know or understand God’s timing, but we know He loves us and is for us. So let us begin there, trusting Him with this. He gave us each other in His perfect love. He’ll gladly give us everything else in His perfect timing.”

THE END

This story I felt was extremely heavy, and as the words flowed I felt very timid in wanting to handle them with care. It is a hard thing to trust God with His timing and way for us especially when we don’t understand. The truth is, we never truly understand and if we did then what need would we have of faith? Could faith even be called faith IF we had all the answers? The pastor I follow, Ron Carpenter of Redemption Church, said something that really blessed my heart and I paraphrase: “God shows us the ‘A’ of where we are and the ‘Z’ of where we are going, and ‘Z’ is amazing. We don’t have a problem with ‘A’ or ‘Z,’ it’s the LMNOP that we have a problem with.” How many of us can agree with that? I know I can. Faith requires of us trial, and dreaded sufferings that rewards us with a faith more valuable than  pure gold (1 Peter 1:6-9). It is a sturdy faith, a trustworthy faith able to maintain the blessing and vision we wait for. It is in these sufferings that we are made like Christ, for we share in His sufferings so that we can also share in His glory (Romans 8:17). The thing I most appreciate about Christ and His suffering for the whole of creation on the Cross is that He made it plain that He despised the shame of it (process) and YET He endured it for the glory of us that would be revealed (Hebrews 12:1-2). So I encourage you in whatever trial you may be facing to just be honest with how you feel and trust Him to carry you through it. There is glory in trusting Him. And just as He came to redeem the world at the perfect time (Galatians 4:4-7), He will make His promises manifest in our lives at the perfect time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Just keep believing. 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

~Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Today is the start of a new season, a new day, a new year! As with most people, many of us are stepping forward into the newness of the unknown while leaving behind so much. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe a relationship ended. Maybe you didn’t lose those last 5 lbs that you planned to shed at the start of 2015. The good news is it is okay. Yeshua Jesus-the God of all creation-knows your heart, and he knows the steps you take. If you trust him, no matter how frozen the world around you may seem, soon and very soon you will see and feel the warmth of the Son (sun) breaking through the ice and revealing all the goodness of life that was being cultivated beneath the snow and earth of your yesterday! Trust He has made everything beautiful in its time. He is faithful. dance into 2016 with joyful expectation! Happy New Year!!!

Coming Home

She was finally heading home again. It had been nearly two years but some how for Yessica she felt is if she had only gone yesterday. Everything seemed to have been locked in time, nothing had changed at least not from her vantage point, walking upon slick asphalt towards a place that was her home. cvr_12_1394571146

It was funny to her really. She had only lived in that house for less than three days before she took to the road. That day was equal to this day. Haze hung over the green hills, blocking out any trace of the sun. She had told him that she was going on a walk, she told him she would be right back.

She lied.

She had not intended to run away. In all truth she had begun her journey walking, slowly as if weights had been tied to her ankles impeding her movements. But like a wild pony she began to garner the strength and before she knew it she was running, running away from the very place she was told was now her home.

She stopped and shifted the weight of her shoulder bag and exchanged the suitcase from left hand to right. The sound of the tiny stones crunching beneath her feet lent her the touch of reality that things had indeed changed since she first ran from home.

For one thing, Yessica had nothing when she had taken out on her journey. Her purse was as empty as her soul back then and she had left it lying on her bedside table. But now she was not so empty, not of perishables and not of life.

He had written to her and with each inky word scrolled with shaky, rushing hand across paper, Louis had filled her with everything she thought she would never have. She had not wanted to marry him. He had to have known that. He had to have seen it in her eyes when she looked at him and said “I do.” He had to have seen through the lie she told to his face even if the Pastor missed it and the congregation of overjoyed family and friends hadn’t.

But God had noticed. He knew she was lying. And oh how God had changed her barbwire heart since then. It was as if God had been searching her out and seeking her heart just as much as Louis had been.

She hadn’t gotten to far, maybe 100 miles by the time Louis found her. He was a strong solid young man, everything about him chiseled and hard as stone for he was hard working. If he had wanted to, he could have scooped Yessica up with one arm, tossed her over his shoulder and took her straight home without her being able to stop him…but he didn’t. Instead he held his hat in his hand and stared down at his feet for several long minutes when he first caught up to her.

Yessica had to force herself to breath she was so frightened at first. She had done him wrong, dreadfully wrong and she deserved to have gotten a good dressing down for all the humiliation and fear that had sprung from her heels for him when she took off. But instead, when she looked at him, looked at the dark hairs of his long lashes fanning across his high cheek bones, she felt nothing but pity. And when he opened his lips, the words he spoke to her made her afraid, but not in the way of danger.

“Can I write to you, Yessica?” He asked her. He still had not brought his eyes up to meet hers and the way of his timidity kept the answer lodged in her constricted throat. When he finally did raise his dark eyes to hers she only managed a nod. With that, Louis hurried for his wallet and plucked from it more than half of the money he had been carrying. He pushed it into her hand even though tearfully she had said no.

“You are my wife now, and a man has to provide for his family. I won’t have you starving out here. You just…You just write me so I know where you are and I will send you what you need.” He turned to leave but then hesitated, reaching for his other pocket he pulled out his first letter to her. He set it down on the table by the door in the tiny cottage she had found her way to. An old widow had taken her in. Then with a quick but strong hug, Louis was out the door.

Yessica finally made it to the front steps of her home. She set down her bag and touched the dog eared edges of the first letter her husband had written her. She was suddenly feeling that old fear again. Two years was a long time to be gone. What if he didn’t want her any more? She felt her fingers curling around the letter and she meditated on the words that had been penned upon it: “To my beloved bride, delicate as feathers floating on the wind, I love you and I will wait for you to find your way home.”

A hot tear forced itself from the corner of her eye and slid down her face. She had no right to return. No right at all. Instantly the parable of the Prodigal Son played in her mind, but she could not shake that she was not the son and Louis was not his hopeful father. Yes, she knew God would take her back, but Louis was a man and all his loving words could have  been weightless. Why hadn’t she thought of this sooner? Because she had wanted his love for her to be true. She had wanted him to truly want her. But how could he?

Heart racing and hope fleeting far from her now, she bent down for her bag but was captured by the shoulders instead.  The earthy scent of Louis’ soap pooled around her and his glassy eyes drew her to him. Before she knew it she felt the cold and doubt being forced away by sweet kisses and the warmth of his strong arms. It was as if his embrace has chased all doubt away and it had.

She had finally come home, she felt it in that very moment. She knew it in Louis’ words and she knew it in his arms. She could not help but tell him even though she had failed to several times before, “I love you, Louis, I do.” This time it was truth, she knew it, he knew it and so did God.

THE END

Okay…I just finish publishing one story and this one sprung forth right on its heels. I am actually feeling might free in this moment, less controlled creativity i.e. planned actions and more of a sweet flow. Truth is I had a bit of prayer about how things were going this month and Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) answered me quite nicely.

I am still learning about my creative self in the place in life that I am currently in, and right now, this week, my art is full of words…and that ain’t a bad thing at all.

Cheers Fellow Soup Seekers!