All posts tagged: musing

Gone Til September: ICFTS on Sabbatical until September 8th

“Sometimes you just have to do it. Eat the cookie, take a nap. Relax. It’s Friday.” ~CANDICE COATES Okay, it may not be Friday but it is definitely time for a short sabbatical her at ICFTS. We will be gone from posting and sharing until SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th. Until then, catch up on some old posts, enjoy downtime from the web, or better yet, if you haven’t already, take time to go through an accelerated run-through of ABIDING FRUITFULNESS: 40-DAYS OF RESTING TO SUCCESS. Again, we will be back on SEPTEMBER 8th, kicking off a fresh new series called, START HERE. Until then, rest easy, Creatives! ~Candice Coates *Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

A Merry Heart: The Gift of Laughter

*Revised from May 20, 2016 “The most wasted of all days is the one without laughter.” ~E.E CUMMINGS Laughter, like food, is the one other universal language that every person on this planet not only enjoys but needs to survive. Laughter is the music that is never out of tune. It is the one song that we all can sing, and find ourselves singing along with even if we can’t explain why. Laughter is a gift, a precious gift given to us from Christ Jesus and one that we can give to others. It is a fire that burns nothing but calories! And who doesn’t like that? Laughter is priceless. Be sure to treasure it and share it with those around you. No day or heart is complete without it. “A merry heart does good like medicine…” ~PROVERBS 17:22 ~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Achieving the Greatest Expression: The Gift of Transformation

*Revised from July 1, 2016 “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~CYNTHIA OCCELLI Isn’t this the exact description of what happened to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ when He submitted to the death on the cross for our sins, was first brutally beaten and undone before buried in the grave? To anyone looking in from the outside, and even those who’d walked with Him during His three-year ministry of preparing the soil for the Church to be planted and born, it would appear that all of His work was for naught. He was crucified and pronounced dead after all. Nothing but destruction was left. Christ and His work had been completely undone.  But in fact, it was finished! “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” ~I COR. 15:20 From the ‘undoing’ and destruction of Christ’s body on the cross, …

Renewing Your Vision

*Revised from April 15, 2016 “Worse than being blind is to see and have no vision” ~HELEN KELLER Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no VISION the people PERISH…” (Emphasis mine) To be able to see is one thing, to have a vision is another. Vision is the driving force that calls us to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Vision is the crown that causes us to press even in the face of repeated failure because it’s given you hope for the future. To be a person who has lived and not simply existed, you must have a vision–a goal. Although vision and sight are different, they are not mutually exclusive. To maintain your vision you must keep it ever before you (Habakkuk 2:2) Put it down in the simplest of words as a reminder of what you are aiming for. It is very easy to allow the challenges of life to stifle our vision. In faith, in Christ Jesus, we are called to ‘renew’ or minds, that we not be conformed to the …

Inevitable Change: Encouragement in Transition

Revised from August 18, 2015 “Change is inevitable, Growth is optional.”~JOHN C. MAXWELL Change. The only time that most people search out change and willingly run with it is when unsavory circumstances have begun to dim the light and joy form their life and they are desperate to get it back. Otherwise, change is seen as the unwelcome guest who showed up at your perfectly numbered dinner party, uninvited. Change requires sacrifice, which generally goes hand and hand with discomfort and for some of us, discombobulation. But change is necessary. It is going to happen whether we like it or not, whether we are prepared or not. Think about an infant in their mother’s womb. Change comes and is without a doubt a straining shock to everything within the infant and around them. But what awaits them at the end of their travailing journey is something far greater. Consider the caterpillar who crawls through life, knowing in the core of their being that they are meant for greater heights. They must burn with the urge to …

Why The Bird Sings: Faith for Creatives

*Revised from August 3, 2015 “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” ~Maya Angelou We, as the artist and writers, the dreamers of the world, creative beings, fashioned in the likeness of our loving God and Father, share a beautiful thread of comradery with the birds who so sweetly sing. We write because we have a story to tell. We create because we have a vision. We dream because we have been blessed with a hope so gloriously written by Christ’s hands that we know it will not disappoint (ROM. 5:5). We don’t need to have the answers for every step we are led to take or the exact ins and outs that lead to our future goals in order to share something beautiful. We just need willing hearts to follow His lead and our voices ready to sing in the symphony of song that He has orchestrated for us! Lift up your voice, lift up your faith, and sing. “He has given me a new …

The Art of Stillness: Creative Motivation

 “Sometimes using your time well or wisely is really just a matter of  being still.” ~Candice Coates via the Lord Jesus I, by nature, am a woman given to hard work. I have an inherent urge and drive to be productive, to seize the moment and bear fruits from my labor. Being still, not producing, often leaves me with an anxious feeling that I have wasted my time, time that I will never get back. The deception of that ideology is one that plagues many of us, I am sure; being still means you have wasted a moment. I am so grateful that this thought process is not based on the truth. Years ago, I was presented with the converse of that false ideology. I learned that there can be great wisdom in resting… or simply being still. All too often we confuse stillness with the lack of productivity. We in the west have been conditioned to believe that if there is no movement then nothing has been done. This is actually an enemy of …

What It Takes: A Message For Success

“It takes time to be a success, but time is all it takes.” ~UNKNOWN What we desire in this life, what we aim to achieve if it is truly a worthy and honest endeavor it is worth the time it will take to make it manifest. Don’t allow the progress of others to discourage you in your journey. You are in a race against only one person; yourself. The prize at the end of this race is having achieved your highest potential. This crown only fits your head. The choice is yours. Time is in your hands. Determine to take one step at a time. *Revised from November 6, 2015 *Photo by Leon Macapagal on Unsplash

The Right Time: A Word on Seizing Our Moments

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is indeed a time and a season to all things, but how many times have we used this “truth” out of context, and as a means to hide behind our fear, allowing great opportunities to pass us by? God does indeed have a plan for all of us. He has the perfect time set up for each and every one of us. I am not a believer in “coincidences” but “God-incidences,” however even with a beautifully orchestrated God-incidence if we are insistent upon finding every reason for why we shouldn’t make a move, we will miss our moment. Some moments don’t come around twice. They are truly once-in-a-lifetime events. So I encourage you to, yes, pray without ceasing. Seek the face of God and allow the wisdom of Christ Jesus to guide you in His perfect way and will in all that you do, but don’t let fear of waiting for the “perfect moment” to rob you of …

Gaining Status: Faith for Creatives

“If you are always seeking a certain status to validate who you are, you’re never going to have peace. You can’t climb up to find yourself. You have to find yourself so (that) you can climb up! You have to know who you are so you can climb to status.” ~ Bishop T.D Jakes In all that we do, in every attempt to succeed, we are inherently challenged with the idea of “Status.” Even with something as simple as social media postings, we find ourselves judging our positions, condemning ourselves for not having X amount of followers or X amount of likes or views. “The proof is in the pudding, the validation is in the numbers“, we tell ourselves. We allow this wrong mindset to convince us that we are not worthy of what we are doing. This becomes our sad gospel when in reality these things are not completely relevant. Consider King David. He was a youth between the ages of twelve and fifteen when he was anointed by the Prophet Samuel as King of Israel (I Samuel 16). …