All posts tagged: words

Artful Aggression: How We Abuse Our Creative Work & Why We Shouldn’t

Have you ever watched a movie, sat in horror or just sheer irritation as you witness one character (generally a parent or a lover) verbally abuse their child or partner? And as you are watching you begin to judge that character thinking, “Gosh, they are wrong. I would  never talk to my child like that.” The scene ends, the couple or family members come to some peaceful ground, and then the movie ends. “We cruelly victimize our art. Art’s greatest victimizer is often the one who created it.” The movie ends but the hypocrisy continues. In the Book of Matthew 7:5, Jesus says “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“ You are probably wondering, what in the world does a scene from a movie and teaching from Jesus have to do with art. They have everything to do with art, even if indirectly. We as artist and writers  have a tendency to look at our creations the …

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’ spelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day. “Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.”   God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it came to be. Our Lord Jesus 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, …

How to Make Waves in Life: Stepping into New Seasons

“If you don’t dive in, you’re not going to make any waves.” ~Somebody Awesome Let’s be honest, basking in the presence of something beautiful is a wonderful thing, but being fully submerged within it can be so much more fulfilling and exhilarating. It’s similar to being at the pool, or the ocean on a hot summer’s day. You’re never truly refreshed until you have taken the dive in! The same is true for us and any advancement that we would like to have in life. Talking about an idea or a plan is a wonderful thing, but until you take a dive and actually start implementing the things you are talking about, you are only basking in its beauty. “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” ~PSALM 34:8 Consider that this truth is relevant in every area of our lives, especially in our walks with Christ. The deeper we go in Him the sweeter we find Him to be, the more we realize how awesome and …

Plan BIG!: A Word on Vision Casting

“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 are 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 …

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 …

Simply Beautiful: Micro-Fiction by Candice Coates

It was a simple room, done up in a simple state and yet it was nothing short of simply beautiful. The wood floors were well worn and just as well loved. The darkness of the grain showed signs of wear but also echoed with the song of yesteryear that tickled her ears and made her heart dance with each click of her low heeled shoes. This was a blessing. She had prayed for a place of her own, no matter how grand or small and God had answered her. Her prayer, much like King David’s, “Not too much Lord, lest I forget You. And not too little that my hands itch to steal.” Those were her words and He had answered ever plea of her heart. “Thank You,” she whispered with a sigh as the lacey sheer drapes blew into the room on the gentle spring breeze as if the hand of God was hidden within their folds welcoming her to her new abode. “I’m glad you are pleased,” the older woman, Ms. Mcnaughten, answered …

On the Mend: A Short story by Candice Coates

Written April 14, 2014 I got something for you.” Milly smiled at the threshold before entering the room and walking toward Garnet’s bedside box in hand. Garnet studied her curiously, mouth slightly agape. Milly’s smile only brightened. “May I?” she asked, pointing at the bed. “Certainly! Have a seat, Milly.” Garnet tried to offer her a smile in return but he just couldn’t get his face to work that way. He was still too astonished by her being there…on his bed…in his room. Technically it was their room but he had used it alone for so long that he had forgotten how to let her in. He had forgotten how to let her into his heart as well. Milly had been guilty of that as well. The box made a hollow sound as Milly moved it about in her hands. She wanted to be comfortable but not so much that she bumped Garnet’s leg. He had broken it and broken it good. His femur bone was split right in two! It was going to take …

He Bought the Farm by Candice Coates

He wasn’t hiding. He wasn’t the type to do so, but he was the kind to slip away to think. He needed to think. Milo, his four-legged shadow followed him, nestling close by, gazing back at the house as if he too was weighing his options. Blake scratched behind Milo’s warm fuzzy ears earning himself a grateful dog-grin. “What do you think, buddy? What should we do?” As usual, Milo had no answer. He only licked his chops, gave a contend yawn, before bedding down deeper into the grass. Blake smiled. Maybe that was Milo’s answer. He was happy right where he was. Truth be told, so was Blake. They’d, Blake his wife Paisley and Milo, had happily moved out to the quiet country nearly five years ago. Happy may have been an overstatement. They not so simply needed a change of pace, a change in their reality. Past decisions had caught up with Blake leaving an unrelenting stain on Paisley’s career. Her employers had said as much, she was guilty by association. She needed to distance …