This One Thing: Faith for Creatives

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind…The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man.”~ECCLESIASTES 1:14;12:13

The book of Ecclesiastes was inspired by the Living Spirit of God and written by not only the wisest man to ever live, besides our Savior, Jesus Christ, but the wealthiest man of all creation; King Solomon.

In his lifetime, he had tasted of every indulgence he could, wealth was in abundance, of women he did not lack. There was nothing under the sun that was denied him.

And yet, after running around the mountain of indulgence and want, whether of Godly pursuit or in the attempt to appease the longings of his own flesh and desires; he came to the simple and yet profound conclusion, that nothing, NOTHING else was of true value, all was as chasing the wind, except loving God.

The word “fear” used in the scripture in regard to the Holy God of creation, is not that of being afraid and cowering, but one of awe and reverence. To be totally stricken silent by the glorious wonder of the One you are beholding. At the end of it all, King Solomon had found his One thing. God was his one thing.

Some may be thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good for him, but I live in the real world and I have real problems and cares.” So did Solomon. Whether at your greatest height or your lowest low, there is nothing so sweet as the embrace of Christ Jesus but you can only experience that by giving Him permission to take you in His arms.

Christ Jesus longs to love you and be loved by you. He died for you as His greatest expression of His love because YOU are HIS ONE THING.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.~ ROMANS 5:8

I encourage you to listen to the song again, read the words and maybe even sing along. Allow yourself to be enraptured by the truth that you are His One thing and His desire is to be close to you. And allow Him to be your One thing, for in Him are all things and you will lack for no good thing! (Matthew 6:24-34)

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”~REVELATION 3:20

*Revised from November 18, 2015

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

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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

“Anything You Can Do I Can Do”…But Why Should I?: Creating My Way

First, the title of this article is not necessarily true in and of its self, but I am trying to paint a picture with words here, so follow along, will you?

I am not sure if you are familiar with the old musical “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. In the movie, there is a song that they sing to each other. It’s more two people shooting arrogant verse at each other as if they are bullets. “Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.

As creatives, we are all looking for our own place in the world, our own voice. Even when and while we are inspired by and appreciate the expressions of others, we can sometimes find ourselves looking at fellow creatives with competitive eyes. “I can do that and I can do it better. Maybe I should try.

Being human, no matter what we are aiming to do, we can all go ahead and admit we’ve  done that once or twice. 

In an older post, I quoted Octavia E. Butler on how she became a science fiction writer. (Did I mention she is the winner of the Hugo Award and Nebula Awards?) Anyhow, she said that when she was twelve years old she watched a dreadful science fiction flick. It was so bad that she was determined to write “good” science fiction. And she did, obviously.

…I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make. ~Candice Coates

But her attitude was “I can do better than that.” And that attitude paid off. (If you have not read any of her work, check out Wild Seed.) The thing is, not only did she set out to write ‘better’ science fiction, but she did it her way, in her own voice, without competing with the voices that were already out there.

Since ICFTS began, I have been on a constant journey to identify my voice as an artist. Truth be told, I have been on this search since I have been an artist. I have always been very eclectic. But one thing that has come to mind with all of this is that I have to make art that I care about not just art that I can make.

As I have said for years, just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should. That is when you get stuck in ruts of hollow, soulless work, be it writing, visual art, whatever it is. Always create what you care about.

I am on a hunt to find what it is that I care about. I love doing oil paintings, I love writing (writing will ALWAYS be my thing. I love to tell a story.) but with visual art, it just all depends.

I find that even with oil painting, though I have a talent for it,  I am exploring more pencil work, with ink and colored pencils. And there is always the option of mixed media illustration.  There are so many options.

…just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.” ~Candice Coates

I remember, years ago, in undergrad during a departmental review, my professors telling me “All your work is amazing, Ms. Coates, but it looks like the work of twenty different artists.”

On one hand, this is not a bad thing at all. It’s like being multilingual. I speak twenty different artistic languages. On the other hand, it begs the question, are you perfectly fluent in any of them? Jack or rather Jacqueline of all trades and master of…only a few.

 

 

 

We need to create on purpose, with purpose.”

CREATING WITH CONSIDERATION

There are 3 verses that come to mind in this regard. I will pluck at each. One is Philippians 4:13,I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

It is comforting to know that if I set myself to do things that He, Christ Jesus, has placed in my heart to do, that no matter what, if I trust Him, He has given me the strength to do them.

I want to make art. He has given me the gift to do so and also the strength for it.

I Corinthians 10:23,You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is helpful. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” but not everything is beneficial.

With the creative strength and gift given unto me, I need to operate in wisdom. So what I can, sculpt. I don’t feel ANYTHING when I am sculpting apart from a loss of time. Dash the great reviews of my audience. (Just using sculpting as an example.)

Where is the benefit of doing something just because you can? You won’t benefit from my efforts and in the long run, no one else will either. The work is void of any life because your heart was not in it. This is arbitrary actions at its best.

Both of these verses bring me to Isaiah 30:21,and your ears hear a word behind you, saying “This is the Way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or whenever you turn to the left.

BE CREATIVE, NOT COMPETITIVE

What is the point? The point is not to be arbitrary, not to be competitive. Art, to me, creation and creativity, is sacred. It needs to be treated with respect and care. We need to create on purpose with purpose. Not in a way to “out do” the person next to us. There has to be meaning involved. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

In conjunction with this, we should not only create what we care about, but we should create on subjects or themes that we care about.  If you are not interested in what you are doing your work “on” you are still going to get the same empty results, a pretty picture with no life to it, even if you are doing it in a medium that you love.

My creative path is still winding forward. I am discovering more about me and what I want out of my career as a visual artist. I am ever on the hunt to uncover my “niche” and voice.

But even where I stand now,  I can be confident in creating what I am curious about and care about, and leave all the competitive  “I can do better than you” mess behind me. And best of all, so can you!

*This article was originally published on February 12th, 2014 & Updated February 19th, 2018.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Do you ever feel like you could be making better use of your creative time, or that you’ve lost yourself in a creative competitive race? Talk about it in the comments below.

Plan Big!: A Word of Creative Encouragement #MotivationMonday

When God is your partner, make your plans big!” ~ D.L Moody

Plan BIG!

You’d think that that exhortation would make every person who heard it celebrate with a motivated fire for action when in reality it makes a lot of people shrink back in fear and hide under the heavy blankets of safety and mediocrity.

Dreaming is not so much of an issue for most of us. But dreaming big . . . well, that has the power to not only knock the wind out of many of our sails but sink our boats completely.

Like me, I suppose you are wondering why that is. If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that insecurity and the scrutiny of others is what holds us back. The old ‘what will people think?’ phrase acts as the perfect glitch in our plans of action.

The very thought of failing in front of others, especially those who’ve minimalized our former dreams with the constant song of ‘you can’t,’ strikes us immobile. Them witnessing our former failed attempts doesn’t help either.

But is any of that really a reason to shrink our globally-sized visions down to something that only fills a shoebox? Are our past ‘failures’ really messages that we are not able to achieve the impossible?

I dare say NO!

If nothing else our past ‘failures’ are signs that we are indeed able to succeed? Why? Because even when we aimed for the moon and didn’t even leave the atmosphere, we still have the gumption to load up for another shot.

We are indeed meant to plan big, and along with that, we must rest in faith that every seeming malfunction has a glorious function for our good. We learn from every step we take. We are strengthened by every closed door. We can actually become better with ever affront against our determination.

Isaiah 54:2-4 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Dreaming BIG is a gift, a costly gift. It means we will have seasons and moments when we look foolish. It will require us to cast out our nets just one more time in faith even though we’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. (Luke 5:3-7) But when Yeshua Jesus is directing our casting even when the progress looks minimal the process is optimal and so is the final outcome if we stick with it.

What we must realize is that the God of all Creation has big dreams and plans for each of us. When we trust Him as our Father we are then positioned by faith to prosper. (Jeremiah 29:11)  His thoughts for us are all GOOD and PRECIOUS  and they outnumber the stars and the sand (Psalm 139:17-18).

But part of seeing these dreams come to pass rest in our willingness to dream big, plan even bigger and allow the Giver of Dreams Himself to guide us on the journey. (John 15:5) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

There is nothing that is too big for Yeshua Jesus to do and when He is our partner there is NOTHING we cannot do! (Philippians 4:13)  But it requires us to believe in and on Him, and take great leaps of faith.

But then, that’s all it takes.

So dream, plan and do it BIG! He’s got your back.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

*Revised from June 2016

The Change in the Waiting: The Purpose in the Process

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God often requires us to change while we are waiting.” ~Wendy Pope, Wait and See, 2016, p.114  

Wait. It is a word that makes the average person cringe especially in the face of something your soul longs for. I don’t care how you spell it, weight, wait, the word just hurts. But more so than wait or its twin sister weight, change can be a doozy as well.

change-and-waitChange is the process that takes place in the cocoon of waiting. Change is what is required within the space of promise to manifestation. Some of us hear that we need to change and we think, ‘Hey, I’m a pretty good person. Why do I need to change?’

The reality is, that our level of ‘goodness’ (which only comes from Christ living in us anyway) has nothing to do with why we must change. A little girl must become a woman before she can bear a child and properly raise it. A boy must become a man before he can become a strong and sound husband, provider and father.

The beauty is that the promise given unto us, the dream of becoming is born from the potential that is already alive in us. It just needs to be cultivated and that takes time. That requires the change born out of the wait.

You decide you want to be a doctor. So you go to school for several long years and change while you wait for your graduation, the proof that you are ready to practice medicine. You have dreams of being a pilot, so you change by way of learning how to fly.

Wait. Process. Change. Promise!

The simplest example of this is found in the life of the caterpillar. The caterpillar is born with the potential and the promise of flight, but he cannot take to the skies unless he changes into a butterfly first. He must wait so that he can change.

In order for him to do this, he must yield to the process of change, and wait so that he can take hold of the promise.

3 Things Required in order to Change in our Waiting

  1. Boundaries: (Psalm 16:6) “My boundary lines fall in pleasant places
    —surely my heritage is beautiful.“~TLV. When God sets our course, He does so with a path in mind and this path is designed to get us to His and our desired location in Him and in our place within the Kingdom. But, we can only reach this place of inheritance when we submit to the ‘boundary lines’ set before us. Just like the caterpillar must yield to the confines of a cocoon, so too must we yield the boundaries set by our loving Father during our time of wait if we expect to change for the promise.
  2. Pressure: (II Corinthians 4:7-16, I Peter 4:12-13) The cocooned habitat of the caterpillar is comfortable for only a while. Soon as wings and other appendages begin to form, the boundaries become tighter and the pressure is put on. The same is true for us and praise the Lord God Yeshua Jesus for it! When certain situations become too comfortable our desire to leave them begins to decrease. That dream of flying starts to pale in the comfort of being securely suspended. But when the pressure is on, when the changes that have taken place in us and in our friend the caterpillar become evident, the desire for the promise increases. The blessing of the pressure can also be seen in the transformation of dusty coal into diamonds. No pressure, no change. The right amount of pressure for the proper amount of time and we end up with bling instead of coal!
  3. Struggle/Resistance: (Romans 5:1-5) Becoming a butterfly is a great and glorious result of change, but wings and legs unused and untried are useless. They are not strong enough to take to the promised sky. In order for the butterfly to survive in its new level of existence and promise it must have proven the strenght of its wings and legs. It is in teh struggle to be released from its cocoon that his legs adn wings develop the needed strenght for walking and flight.

As children of God, destined for promised lands and beautiful inheritances, we must do more than ‘look the part’ for our new positions within the Kingdom.

Our faith and trust in the Lord God Yeshua Jesus must be developed inorder for us to survive the attacks and temptations that will come our way even before we cross the threshold into our promised lands.

We have to encourage ourselves in the truth that there is treasure in our transitions of change. Their is purpose in our process of waiting. Our waiting is never wasted if we do it with Christ at the center and our faith yielded to His way. I Peter 5:6-7 says,

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.~NKJV

Our Heavenly Father knows that the waiting can get rough at times, but He also knows that it is worth it. Even He waited for the right time to come in the form of a baby, born of a virgin to redeem a sin stained world to eternal life and everlasting relationship with Him (Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 5:6).

Had King David not waited in the pastures where no one saw him fighting against lions and bears, living under the likely mocking and christcism of his seven older brothers, while developing his devotion to God the Father, his capacity to lead and care for a multitude, and his skill as a marksman, he would have never had the faith to defeat Goliath or the trust in God’s faithfulness to keep him while he overcame the harrassment and threat of death that came from King Saul during the many years that followed.

All of these things, the boundaries, the pressure, the struggles, were the very things that caused King David to change from shephard of sheep to the whole of Israel. It was in the process that his ‘wings’ developed the tried and trusted faith and ability to fly!

You and I are given the same opprotunity in our faith walk, to change in our wait to be ready for the promise. I pray that if you haven’t already, you would humble yourself under the loving hand of the Father, allow Him to guide you in your change and trust that at the right time your wings will have the strength to fly into your promise!

SCRIPTURES OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Dressed for the Appointment: Hope for the Promises to Come

Urgent Message of Hope from December 26, 2012, ON TIME FOR December 2016: 

Four years ago I was led to write a short message reminding many of my friends on Facebook to keep holding on to the Word of Faith and promise that Yeshua Jesus had given unto them. Now, four years and two days later, I am urged to do it again.

The Lord laid this question upon my heart that only you can answer for yourself, really, and here it is. “Are you dressed and are you ready for the open door?”

It is easy to be given a dream and a prophetic vision for your future/destiny/purpose, but it is a whole other thing to not only hold on to it but to be prepared for it at all times. With many of the trails that we face, especially within the last year, it is easy to lose hope in the dream, allowing it to be transformed into the elusive ‘carrot on a stick’ dangling just out of your reach.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.”~ Genesis 41:14

The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that that that is what the promises of Yeshua Jesus are, elusive and out of reach. The good thing is that we know satan IS A LIAR! (John 8:44) As we know that our Heavenly Father’s Word never returns to Him void (Isaiah 55:8-13) ( And our Savior is the Living Word that did not return unto Him void…think on that a bit more 😉 ) we also know that the truth is not found within the enemy (John 8:44). If the Lord said He is going to do somehting in your life, HE IS GOING TO DO IT!

He (Jospeh) did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on.

So again I ask you are you dressed and ready for your open door? Consider Joseph. Joseph was given many prophetic dreams about his destiny and purpose. He, like all of us called by His Name, was destined to reign (Romans 5:15-17). Our Heavenly Father embedded these truths about his future deep within his being so that Joseph would know what he was meant to do and who he was called to be.

Even with these truths and promises deep within him, Joseph still endured hardships and betrayals, letdowns and heartbreaks that looked and were completely contrary to the promise and vision, but Joseph did not relent on what God had shown him. Instead, he held on to the dream. For thirteen years Joseph trusted in God in the face of more storms and more roads that seemed to lead further away from the promise, but with each step down he kept looking up, waiting for his open door.

In Genesis 41:14 we read that when Pharaoh suddenly calls for Joseph, Joseph immediately shaved and changed his garments in order to go before Pharaoh. He did not allow the circumstances that had tried him to keep him in the garments and appearance of a slave or prisoner but he presented himself as a free man to the very one who had the power to promote him. Joseph dressed for the open door, one he had been waiting on (Genesis 40).

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3

All along Jospeh believed that he was meant for greater so he dressed for greater. He held on to the Hope that ‘This might be the day!’ and it was! His day did come. He did not allow thirteen years of imprisonment to convert him in any way to a prisoner.

But not only did Jospeh hold on but so did many others like Father Abraham and Sarah who waited over twenty years of their promised miracle son, Isaac (Hebrews 11).

Yet, here is something else we need to consider and that is how we are waiting. Are we really waiting on the promise dressed with faith or are we like the fruitless fig tree giving the appearance of faith but empty of the real thing similar to the five foolish virgins who held lamps they didn’t bother trimming and with very little oil, or are we truly ready and waiting with faith and hope? (Matthew 21:18-22*, Matthew 25:1-13)

So I ask again are you dressed for your open door or are you keeping on the clothing of a prisoner and a slave with no intention of changing them because of lost hope? I pray the Holy Spirit leads you in all you do and for whatever He has in store for you I pray you are getting dressed and ready because the open door is indeed coming! Be ready.

*If you are wondering about the fig tree, understand that fig trees have what is a preseason fruit, where they bear a first run of figs and then a second yeilding. When Yeshua Jesus approached the fig tree that He later cursed, it was during the preseason for fruit. The tree had the appearance of doing what it was supposed to be doing but was empty of fruit!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Encouraged in the Wait: Trusting in God in the Trial

encouraged-in-the-wait

Isaiah 40:29-31He [God] gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

This passage from Isaiah is one that I’ve quoted many of times in my walk with the Lord Yeshua Jesus. Often times I’ve felt it come up from within my soul during times of, you’ve guessed it, waiting!

And although this scripture does indeed tell us, like many others found in the Bible, that the Lord is faithful to those who wait, the power of waiting in the circumstances that the Prophet Isaiah is writing on is what really moved my heart recently and I am certain it will do the same for yours.

When the Lord spoke to Isaiah, giving him these verses it was in response to what was going on in the hearts of the children of Israel. They, like we get many of times, were in great distress and felt abandoned by God in the midst of their trials. Justice was due them and justice was not on the horizon.

As He deemed us worth dying for, we can trust that He is worth waiting for.

Have you been there? I know I have. We’ve walked in the best of our faith and integrity and still it seems like we are the ones to finish last. It seems like our prayers and pleas are going unanswered and seemingly ignored, and like the Children of Israel, we feel discouraged and abandoned, and dare I say it, forgotten.

But here is what our Faithful Father said to Israel and to us:

Isaiah 40:27-28 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel:“My way is hidden from the LordAnd my just claim [justice] is passed over by my God”? Have you not known?
Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LordThe Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary.His understanding is unsearchable.

You see, these are the verse that precedes Isaiah 40:29-31. It is in the waiting and trusting in the faithfulness of Yeshua Jesus especially in the face of injustice that we are renewed, that we are strengthened that we are no longer weary.

Psalm 31:5, 7-8Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth…I will be glad and rejoice in Your lovingkindness, for You saw my affliction. You knew the troubles of my soul. You did not hand me over to the enemy.
You set my feet in a wide-open place.

The glorious hope that fills my heart when I meditate on these verses, while I wait on the Lord, is in the truth that God is faithful ESPECIALLY when it seems like all the world is against me and nothing is working for my good. I am reminded that He is indeed our ever present help (Psalm 46:1). In Him we are never abandoned nor are we forgotten.

Isaiah 63:9In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.

He is with us in our afflictions and in His love He has pity on us. He sees what is grieving our souls and He is faithful to give us relief. His Word even assures us that He goes through our trials with us, that in our distresses He too is distressed.

Isaiah 49:13-16 says:

Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

Our Heavenly Father loves us beyond measure so much so that He would never forget us nor forsake us, especially not when we are distressed. Just as a parent is moved by the cries of their child so too is our Heavenly Father moved by ours.

Knowing that He loves us and has proven that through the nails that were driven into His hands let us sing for joy in the midst of our distress and seeming unjust circumstances, trusting that He has got everything under control.

He has assured us that He can never forget us as He has inscribed us to the palms of HIS HANDS and our walls are ever before Him.

Think about that for a minute. Think about the nail prints in His hands that He bore for us even before we knew Him. Being assured that He loves us that much, we can sing in our trials because He will faithfully come through. As He deemed us worth dying for, we can trust that He is worth waiting for.

Be encouraged that He is near you, He hears you, and He is for you! Meet Him in the secret place in the midst of your trial. Meet Him with songs of praise as you wait and are renewed!

MEDITATION AND REFLECTION PASSAGES:

Take a listen to the INTRO of this song by clicking HERE.

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

The Message of Christ’s Ambassadors : The Cry of God’s Heart

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So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,[c] so that we could be made right with God through Christ. ~ II Corinthians 5:20-21

Ambassador. An ambassador is a person who is sent by a country, government, kingdom to represent the cause of said country, government or kingdom. This person is commissioned to stand for and speak, not his or her on thoughts or opinions, but those of the one who sent him.

Those of us who have accepted the free gift of salvation, given only through the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua Jesus have taken up the mantel of Ambassadors for Christ.

But what is it that Yeshua Jesus, the God of all Creation, has commissioned us as His ambassadors to say to the world? “Come back to God.”

II Corinthians 5:14-21 outlines the transformation that we have from being wicked to righteous of no work of our own but through the great exchange of Christ taking our place and our punishment and transforming unto all who believe, His glory and His righteousness.

The beauty of this is not the He forces ANYONE to come but HE APPEALS that all should come to Him and accept His love and atonement.

To appeal is to make an urgent yet serious request. The God of all Creation forces no one into His love, but HE requests that all will come to His love and enter His rest.

II Peter 3:9  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 

From Fire & Ashes: A Poem & Word of Faith

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Oh sweet fire

Burning from embers

Kissed by gales of rushing wind

Charred black my loveliness

Til all seems lost

And I must start again

Bring forth new life, Oh sweet fire

From death spring fertile ground

In the wake of your scorching pyres

Is where my future will abound

Oh sweet fire

~Candice Coates

From Fire & Ashes: A Word of Faith & Encouragement

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Fire rips through the hilly countryside, leaving devastation in its wake. All seems lost. Hope is suffocated in the thick choking smoke that rises from the ashes of what used to be treasures and dreams. 

And when the orange and black fades, giving way to sunlight, nothing can be heard but mocking silence. The fire has one and all is lost.

…Or is it?

If you live long enough, if you haven’t already, you will drink of your fair share of disappointment. Something will come and snatch the proverbial rug from beneath your feet and leave you on your back winded.

None of us are  immune to it. There is not inoculation to prevent tragedy or disappointment from burning through the plains fo our lives. We have no choice deciding if ‘fire’ will come, but we do have the choice of what we accept as true in regard to the ‘fire’.

Maybe it’s the fire of losing a loved one, being let go from a job that had you anticipating promotion. Maybe it’s a relationship that suddenly ended. Fire. It came out of nowhere and left nothing behind it but ashes.

The glory of the fire, however, is that though it burns the life from what we see, it sets the stage for incredible rebirth beneath the soil in what we cannot see.

Dozens of studies over the past two decades have shown that a severely burned forest is a living, thriving habitat that has always been a natural part of western forest ecosystems. Severely burned forests are filled with animals that feast on superabundant food, such as insects and seeds, created by the fire. Anyone with the opportunity to experience a severely burned forest like the Rim Fire is blessed with a cacophony of birdsong, the hum of insects, and a wildflower and pollinator show like nowhere else on the planet. ” ~Some Like It Hot: The Truth About Forest Fire by Monica L. Bond and Richard L. Hutto

The Word of God encourages us with the hope that He (God Yeshua Jesus) will give us beauty for all of our ashes (Isaiah 61:1-3,  Luke 4:16-21). But to get that beauty there has to be a fire. For gold to be refined, there has to be a fire. (1 Peter 1:7)

I take hope and heart in the truth of God’s Word in Romans 8: 28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” not just because I’ve read it, but because I’ve lived it.

What we need to be grateful for, despite the temporary burn of life’s fires, is the truth that not “some” things but “all” things work out for our good. God recycles what was lost to bring us greater beauty and gain.

Sometimes it takes the fire to set us free. The very fire that the three Hebrew boys went through in the Book of Daniel Chapter 3, the very fire that was meant to destroy them, was the very fire that removed their bindings. (Verses 23-25)

What is even more glorious is that Yeshua Jesus was walking in the fire with them, the same way He is willing and wanting to walk in the fire with all of us and to bring us out free and refined! (Isaiah 36:7-9)

The truth we need to cleave to about the ashes that seem as the glaring reminder of what we once had or what we once lost, is that those ashes are the very thing that fertilize our soil and enrich it to produce better fruit and stronger foliage.

We must decide whether or not we will  remain buried beneath the result of the fires or if we will allow those ashes to be tilled on our fallow ground to bring forth a new and greater harvest!

Sing oh barren woman! God is faithful good is coming even out of your ashes! Isaiah 54

Oh, sweet fire!

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion