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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Faith & Victory: Learning to Believe in our Trials

But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.” ~I Corinthians 15:57

The beautiful treasure and shielding power that is God’s Living Word, is in the truth that it (He) wields in the face of our impossible or discouraging circumstances, assuring us that we are already victorious through Him.

There are times that no matter how hard we seem to pray or believe, our circumstances seem to do anything but move.

But we must remember the truth and shielding power of God’s Word, that we are already victorious.

In Ephesians 6:16 Paul says, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” It is almost a wonder that out of all of the ‘articles’ of armor that we are given in Ephesians 6, the shield of faith is the only one preceded with the statement ‘above all.

It’s in His steadfastness during our storms that we learn His beautiful character and unique love for us, and we see this by keeping our faith in Him.”

Our faith in the faithfulness and trustworthiness in the Lord Yeshua Jesus’ everlasting word and promises, even in the face of glaring contradictions and circumstances that tell us to give up, acts as the only shield against the fiery darts of the evil one.

When we continue in His word, walking by and resting in faith and not sight (II Corinthians 5:7,) speaking the word and meditating on it in the worst of times, do we begin to see its truth and power shine through.

Nobody likes trials but without them, our faith in Him and His faithfulness cannot be proved. We won’t be willing to stand on His word through every season if its strength is not tried and proven in our lives.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.~I Peter 1:6-9

It’s within trials that we prove the trueness of our faith and the trustworthiness of His word. It’s in His steadfastness during our storms that we learn His beautiful character and unique love for us, and we see this by keeping our faith in Him.

I’m not saying that this is easy. On the contrary. To trust and keep the faith is learned through experience. It is developed and strengthened when the ‘dross’ of doubt is purged from us during the trials that call us to hold on to faith.

In Malachi 3, the Lord challenges the people of Israel to ‘test’ Him and prove His faithfulness by bringing in the whole tithe so that He may  prove that He will honor His word to them by supplying their needs.

Although Malachi 3 is specifically speaking about tithe and offering it is addressing the issue of lack of trust or faith. The unasked question here is can we believe God’s word and walk in it in all seasons with faith?

No matter what you are facing today, the Father is asking you the same question with love in His heart for you, will you trust Him and His Word? Will you believe Him that through Yeshua Jesus you already have the victory?

We have to remember and continue to encourage ourselves with the truth that our feelings do not dictate our faith.

What you are facing today may seem impossible BUT we have hope that we can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens us and the promise that nothing is impossible for them that believe! (Mark 9:23, Matthew 19:26)

Even when Paul penned those glorious words in Phillippians speaking about his ability to do all things and live in any circumstances because of Christ in Him, he tells us that he had to LEARN to do so.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.~Phillippians 4:10-13

Christ strengthens you and I-if we will let Him by faith-to do all things through Him as well, and to that end, see the manifestation of the victory He has already won for us!

We may not see the victory right now, from where we are currently standing in our trial, but this is why we must continue to walk by faith, shielded by faith. It’s tough to do when it seems the world is against us but that is why we must trust in the fullness and faithfulness of the Father’s heart and love for us that even when we were yet sinners He came and died for us. (Romans 5:8)

We have to remember and continue to encourage ourselves with the truth that our feelings do not dictate our faith.

I confess, I get blinded by my circumstances at times but I am grateful and humbled that He lovingly proves Himself anyway and He will do the same for you! It’s all a learning process.

Go in victory, loved ones, and do so in Faith!

~Poeima, Poetry in Motion

Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

~Candice Coates
Words done by Candice Coates
Words done by Candice Coates
Philippians 4:6-7, 13Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus…I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:4-13) …Every now and again we need the reminder.

My Joy & My Strength: Music Interlude & Encouraging Word

The joy of the LORD is my strength!” ~Nehemiah 8:10

If we’ve all learned nothing else about the darkness, it is the truth that all it takes is the smallest flicker of light to DISPEL it. As it Says in the song above, “In the darkness I’ll dance, in the shadows I’ll sing. the joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Rend collective) Joy is light. light breaks all darkness. it’s when we are at the point of a breakthrough, a major change and victory in our lives, that darkness seems its thickest. but remember the enemy is of the dark and there is no truth in him (JOHN 8:44.) It’s in these darkest hours that we can take the biggest moment to rejoice because Breakthrough is just ahead of us. The darkest hour is always before the break of day. But day surely comes!

The Secret of the Stars: A Quote And Message

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new discovery for the human spirit.” ~Helen Keller

The only ingredients that you need to fail in this life are Fear, Doubt, and Pessimism. All three of these are the poison that sap out our creative power and imagination.

When Yeshua Jesus created the heavens and the earth, He did so by speaking. He spoke from His imagination. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs further goes on to warn us that we will live by the fruit of our lips and above all else, to guard our hearts for out of it flows the source of our lives. (PROVERBS 12:14, PROVERBS 18:21, PROVERBS 4:23)

When our hearts are filled with pessimism and doubt, we speak with negativity and bring forth the fruits of failure. But when we speak with faith, when we allow ourselves to dream, imagine, and do by faith, we are giving life to victory. We are positioning ourselves to conquer!

Yeshua Jesus also tells us that we can do all things through Him and that nothing is impossible to him who believes! He said according to your faith, be it unto you! (PHILIPPIANS 4:13, MARK 9:23, MARK 9:29)

What are you believing? What are you saying about yourself? There are no limits to them who believe. Nowhere in God’s word does he say “you can’t” but he does say that “you can!” What is your dream? Go and make it a reality. Slay your giants, for they will come, but remember you are more than a conqueror because you have faith and believe! Genesis 11:6, Matthew 17:20.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Keep My Eyes: A Quote & Encouragement

I can’t seem to ‘see the forest for the trees’, so I will just keep my eyes on You.” ~Candice

There is no other place I would rather be than walking alongside Yeshua Jesus. But sometimes, storms blow in out of nowhere, blocking the Son’s light, and even blocking out much of the faith that seemed so readily available when there was no storm at all.

I find myself, in these moments, having to “remember my training” if you will. It is very easy to panic when a trial hits, and instead of standing your ground, you run for the hills. Lately, I have just been scratching my head.

…having done all else, stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

Confusion doesn’t help either. You feel so tossed and driven that you can’t tell up from down. In these moments it is best to simple stand…and wait on Him, and say, “Amen. Your will, not my will.”

The answer to my recent prayers, in the midst of this particular storm (and its a doozy) is to “Keep my eyes on Him.” Sounds easy enough, but I equate the difficulty of doing so sometimes to trying to keep one’s eye fixed on Jesus while looking through the peep hole of a door in the midst of a hurricane…Not saying it can’t be done, because He doesn’t ask us to do things that He hasn’t enabled us to do, just saying its been a struggle.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What makes the struggle even more difficult is not being able to see the beauty on the other side of the storm. I think about Peter when he walked on the water with Jesus. Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off of the Master and looked at the storm. The thing is, walking on water even in the sunshine requires our focus and gaze to be solidly fixed upon Him. (Matthew 14:22-33)

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe storm however, has such a way of calling our attention away from the Giver of our peace and way from trusting His word.

Sometimes I just want to give up and walk the other way. Not walk away from Jesus, but walk away from the battle that has caused the storm, forgetting what has been promised upon completion of enduring.

Sometimes I feel rubbed raw and the peep hole to Jesus seems to shrink.

It is only by His Grace and His under girding that I continue to stay above water and keep my eyes on Him at all. My eyes stay fixed and focused because at this point He has cupped my face and put His forehead to mine.

I meditate on Hebrews 12:1-3. For the JOY that was set before Him He DESPISED THE SHAME and ENDURED THE CROSS…for me…for all of us, even though He knew so many would not receive Him, He did it anyway.

I don’t have to like my trial. Truth is I hate it, a lot. But I have to look to Him and keep looking ahead. I have to remember the Joy that is set before me. He never said it would be easy, but He promised it would be worth it.

I have to remember that my present circumstances and pains are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed when this is all said and done. You have to believe this for yourself as well.

You have probably heard many believers say, “I am going through.” We have to keep going to make it through. As I encourage myself not to faint, I also encourage you. Your trial is a road not the destination. Victory is ours if we just keep our eyes fixed on Him and not let go of the hope and promise, for our hope will not be failed.

Keep your eyes on Him and keep seeking His kingdom first. Everything else will fall into place, just as He said it would. (Matthew 6:33)

Psalm 20:5 May we shout for Joy in your Victory, arrayed by standards in the Name of our God. May the Lord fulfill your every wish.”

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Invisible Hat: A poem…and Illustration

This is my invisible hat

Illustration by Candice Coates done in ink 20min
Illustration by Candice Coates done in ink 20min: : Inhibits ALL creative movements forward.”

I wear to hide from this and that

I pull down from head to knee

And block the view of the things that are bothering me

There are a few problems with my invisible hat

It hides most of me from this and that

Not just the things that are bothering me

But all the lovely things I wish to see

It does leave view of my shins and toes

But covers up my eyes, ears and nose

My mouth too is hidden from all world view

So I  cannot speak the things I wish to tell you

Nor can I show the art you might like to see

And I can hardly hear the music that encourages me

So although I love my invisible hat

I will no longer wear it to hide from this or that

I shall use it only as a lovely floor mat

To rise above the things that try to hold me back

For I know I am courageous

And that is all I have to say about that

 

Invisible Hat. I totally wish I had one especially when dealing with issues like HTML. Am I the only one who dreads HTML? I am sure I am in good company with that.  Or simple misfortunes like finding a $2 off coupon only to realize it expired the day before.  Going to the grocery story to get your favorite pint of ice cream only to be met by a gaping whole because your flavor is sold out. On and on and on; these little annoyances sprinkle down in a day. The funny thing about life is if we allow ourselves to carry these”little” annoyances and don’t think to shed them immediately, we can easily be weighed down and find ourselves sinking in oceans of melancholia, thus the need for an Invisible Hat.

 

 

Words…use them wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.

Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power.

Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ smelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day.  13852495177jh1x

God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it become. Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is the Word made flesh (John 1).

He, too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25.) He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead, (John 11: 38-44.)

Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, firing verbal bullets into the dark, careless of the casualties.

How do you use your words; verbal and non-verbal? What message are you sending to others? How are you shaping your world and the world of others with what you say or with what you fail to say?

Sure, this is definitely a soul-thing that I am talking about, but it also has to do with our Creative Expressions. What message are you intending to get across to your readers, your watchers and your listeners?

Within every story there is an undertone, a hidden message that stays with the audience even though it may never have been outwardly mentioned. The message of courage is a regular theme found in many novels.

No other actual says “this story is about courage” while the story is being read, but the message is clear, the mental expression is read loud in clear if the author has done their job.

I raise these questions not just as an artist, a writer, a reader, a listener, and a watcher, but I raise them because of some of the mountains that I am facing as a human being just trying to relate to those around me.

We have such great power to say things with our mouths, but our eyes and body language scream words much louder, which ultimately leave the greatest impression. Its like telling someone you love them while rolling your eyes and sneering at them. I guarantee you the sneer had more of an impression than the verbal exchange.

Consider your words. Consider what you are saying in your music, your visual art, your writing. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consider the power that you hold as the creator of something wonderful and use your power wisely.

Cheers!

I came for the soup.dpp widgets

Note to Self before this Year ends…

I am a planner. I am not just a planner, I toe the line of being rigid with discipline, ticking all the boxes on my list of things-to-do-before-my-bed-calls-my-name.

You know what this blog has done for me over the past year? It has made me crumple my list, not really trash it…yet. I am grateful for that.

Write because I want to, draw because I can, laugh because its healthy, and just breathe.

It has made me super happy, super confused, slightly more spontaneous (a talent this girl lacks), and has given me more ambitious drive to attain that talent…even in the face of frustration…due to not being able to be in CONTROL.1373569138fd7k4 I have found myself praying more and asking for more self understanding.

“Why do I do the things I do? Why do I process information this way? How can I lighten up?”

I have written post about keeping my eyes forward, and yet I have to remind myself to do just that. I am still learning. I am still growing. I am still dancing in the sunlight of creative enlightenment and authentic discovery of my own blessed voice.

I have battled. I have battled with momentum, the need for control; the need to treat this blog not just as my brand but as a business, stuck in ruts of rules and…rigid discipline. I have battled to keep focused and keep breathing. Note in Bottle

The year is almost over and on December the 13th (Maybe I should have waited til then to say all of this…maybe not. Dash the “Rules” and perfect planning) my blog will hit its first year anniversary. (I am pretty sure it is the 13th. God bless the man I marry. I am terrible with dates and tend to forget birthdays. Eek!)

It light of that, in light of all of the frustration, the battles, the things yet to be shared, explored, and ultimately discovered, I still have to remind myself to breathe and to just enjoy the ride. Write because I want to, draw because I can, laugh because its healthy, and just breathe.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

Thank you to all of you who have come this far with me. Thank you for the feedback. Thank you for the “likes” and the “Follows” and even the “Shares.” Solo journeys are rich but company brings such a fantastic flavor to the soup. You all have made me better and I pray to only get even better, not just for self alone but for you guys as well. I want to grow WITH you.

So that is my note to self, with a decision to remind myself of the blog “rules” that I came up with long ago:

Rule #1 Keep to the path. Always remember this blog is about discovering your new light and creative world. Let that be your beacon towards every post.

Rule #2 Don’t take yourself too seriously, this blog is playtime. Playtime is fun and adventurous!

Rule #3 Give what you have at any given moment and spruce things up when more time is available. NEVER FORGET THE POWER OF 15 minutes!

Rule #4 This blog is not a 9 to 5. It is “Creative Therapy.” If you forget to nourish yourself you will faint before you care able to give something satisfying to others.

Cheers!

I came for the soup.dpp widgets