Monday, July 20, 2015

Dew of Heaven

Dew of Heaven : Watercolor

There are times when I produce a piece of artwork and I do not immediately know or understand the prophetic meaning. Today I asked the Lord about this painting, because I knew I was to blog about it. So, I asked my Father, "What meaneth this?" 
And immediately He answered. "It is the dew of Heaven."
So, I had to look it up. It is a wonderful thing. It is associated with great blessing and refreshing. 

May God give you of the dew of heaven,
    and of the fatness of the earth,
    and plenty of grain and wine. Genesis 27: 28

May my teaching drop as the rain,
    my speech distill as the dew,
as the gentle rain upon the tender grass,
    and as the showers upon the herb. Deuteronomy 32:2

So Israel dwelt in safety,
    the fountain of Jacob alone,
in a land of grain and wine;
    yea, his heavens drop down dew. Deuteronomy 33:28

When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it. 
Numbers 11:9

It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life for evermore. Psalms 133:3

A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew upon the grass. Psalm 19:12

I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar. Hosea 14:5

For there shall be a sowing of peace; the vine shall yield its fruit, and the ground shall give its increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. Zechariah 8:12

Our Father in heaven gives us great and many gifts. He says: 
"My son" ( and daughter ).....did you catch that ? 
The Creator of the dew of heaven calls you "Son".
"Incline your ear to my sayings. 
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them. 
And health to all their body."
Proverbs 4: 20-22

God is a loving and attentive Father who delights in blessing His children and heirs with something as simple and profound as the dew. Because of the dew of heaven, crops can flourish in the desert. 
Were it not for the dew, in summer, much vegetation and animals would perish. 

Let us give thanks for the blessing of the dew of heaven. 

Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers upon the grass. Micah 5:7






Monday, July 6, 2015

He Will Cover You With His Feathers

Feather: Mixed Media Sakura Ink and Colored Pencil

I was met with a challenge yesterday. 
Really, it was more of an invitation to know and experience the love of God like never before.
 The invitation was from God but came via His child, Jason Clark at River Church Charlotte

I am going to accept the invitation and show up with my whole heart.  
I am committed to believing that every good and perfect gift comes from The Father of Lights in whom there is no shadow of turning. 
My Father is not inconsistent. 

I am going to repent. 
I am changing my mind and the way I think by the power of the Holy Spirit, Who leads me into all truth. 
To repent means "to change one's mind" according to Stong's Greek Concordance. 

Original Word: μετανοέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: metanoeó
Phonetic Spelling: (met-an-o-eh'-o)
Short Definition: I repent, change my mind
Definition: I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.

My mind is being renewed by Truth. 
I want every evil thought taken captive, and I want every lie exposed and rooted out.  

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:15

I am going to be transformed. 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Here is my new paradigm: 
"We are becoming convinced that His love is perfect, always good. We made a decision years ago that has empowered this conviction, even in the midst of heartache, disappointment and death – God gets all the credit for every good thing in our lives and none of the blame when things go wrong. - " Jason Clark

I am a recovering Calvinist. I used to believe that God's sovereignty equaled His control. 
God is Almighty, has all authority and He is Sovereign, of that I have no doubt. 

Sovereignty and Control are not the same thing. 

Here is the idea that needs to be run out of town. 
It's the idea that everything which happens is God's will. 
It's the accusation that God ordains sickness, poverty or calamity in the lives of His children. 

Let's get this straight. He's a good Father!
 If we can get this one truth settled in our hearts, we can overcome trials, crushing disappointments, unanswered questions and anxieties that lie in wait when we are all alone with our thoughts. This is when the enemy of our souls comes in for the kill, with fiery darts aimed straight at our hearts. 

The devil is an opportunist and the accuser of God. 
Have you noticed that he has nothing original to say? 
He is either accusing God by saying, "Hath God really said" or he is misrepresenting God by twisting the Scriptures. 
Here, we see satan tempting Jesus: 

He said to Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, jump! Scripture says, 'He will put his angels in charge of you. They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.'"
Jesus said to him, "Again, Scripture says, 'Never tempt the Lord your God.' "

The truth is this. God's Father Heart toward His people is kind and merciful, and compassionate. 
He is the God of all comfort. 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3

His heart is tender and full of love towards His children. 

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings thou shalt be secure: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 51:7

He found his people in a desert land, in a barren place where animals howl. He guarded them, took care of them, and protected them because they were helpless.
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreads its wings to catch them, and carries them on its feathers. Deuteronomy 32:11

May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done." Ruth 2:12

Your mercy is so precious, O God, that Adam's descendants take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
Psalm 17: 6-9

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 63: 6 & 7

Are you beginning to get the picture? God has all authority and God IS love. 

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4: 17 & 18

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27: 13 & 14

Perfect us in Your Perfect Love Father !
We take refuge and find comfort under your beautiful feathers. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Restoration


Restoration: Acrylic on Canvas
Painted at Gathering of The Artisans 2013

What is missing in your life? Is anything broken?

When I think about what is missing in my life, I think of family, friends and loved ones who are gone because of sickness or accidents and a few who lived a long life but have passed on. I feel an ache in my heart because I miss them. I miss their voices, their laughs.

When I think of broken things, I think of broken bodies, broken marriages, broken relationships broken hearts, broken minds and broken dreams that cause pain in the lives of many people I know. 

Here's the good news. We don't have to be overwhelmed by these things. We can overcome them, because Jesus Christ is The Restorer. 

What does it mean to be restored? It means :
The returning of something or someone to their original state. 

When we were created, and placed in the garden of Eden, we had unbroken intimacy and love with God and between husband and wife. We lived in complete harmony with all that God created.  Think about that. We had everything we needed and more. There was nothing missing and nothing broken. 

This is not what the world looks like today, but a day is coming when all of that will radically change. The day of restoration is coming. 

This is my favorite promise from the Holy Scriptures: 
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1-5

Let that sink in. A day is coming when all things will be made new. We will not be in pain. We will not have grief. We will not have accidents. We will not have heartache or fear or anxiety. We will not have sickness and disease or threat of harm from man or beast. 

We don't have to wait until that day to begin to experience this restoration. The moment Jesus becomes your All in All, He sets in motion the process of restoration in your life. He came to heal the brokenhearted. He came to preach deliverance to the captive and the recovery of sight to the blind. He is The Soul Restorer.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23: 1

He restores my soul!  He is in the process of restoring my mind and emotions to it's original, intended state of unbroken intimacy with Him, before sin came....before anything was missing or broken.  

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake! 
He has made all who trust in Him the righteousness of God, and He has stamped His Name on the covenant, sealing it with His very own Blood. 

Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I don't have to fear evil. The Shepherd of my soul is right there beside me with His rod and staff to guide, protect and comfort me. 
He has prepared a table, a Passover table, which redeems and restores me in every way possible, while my enemies look on in utter defeat !

As His people, we have been called and commissioned to be restorers in this world. 

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 
2 Corinthians 13:11

The God of Peace will be with me ! The God of Shalom will be with me. Shalom is a term which means peace, completeness, wholeness, soundness, welfare, and restoration. 

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

What breaches or paths have you been called to restore?

He even gives is divine grace and power to become restorers : 
"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11

This is what the LORD says: "In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, Isaiah 58:12

This is the day of the Lord's favor to be restorers ! If you are a Spirit-filled Child of God, you have power residing in you to be an instrument of restoration in the earth. This is our privilege and destiny. 

Look around you. Who needs love today? Who needs an encouraging word? Who needs a kind touch?  Who needs prayer ? Who needs a visit or phone call or groceries?

Who needs to hear the Gospel of the Restorer of Souls?

Speak these words of restoration over your own life and the lives of others. Declare the restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven be manifested. 
And if you are led, "speak" restoration through your brush or your song. 

Excerpts from Joel 2
Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy hill.
Let all who live in the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming.
It is close at hand—
Like dawn spreading across the mountains
a large and mighty army comes,
such as never was in ancient times
nor ever will be in ages to come.
Before them fire devours,
behind them a flame blazes.
Before them the land is like the garden of Eden
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.
Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.

Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
weep between the portico and the altar.
Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

Surely he has done great things!
Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
   The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

I will RESTORE to you the years the locusts have eaten—

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.

Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved




Friday, July 3, 2015

Hope That Overflows

HOPE: Mixed Media Sakura Ink, Colored Pencils and Watercolor

What is hope? 

Strong's Concordance defines it this way. 
elpís (from elpō, "to anticipate, welcome") – properly, expectation of what is sure (certain); hope.

Does your heart dare to hope?
And if so, what do you hope for ?
My heart dares to believe the promises of God. 

The Apostle, Paul, prayed, "Now may God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you believe, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
 I want my heart to overflow with hope and to be filled with all joy and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Steve Backlund writes. "Hope is the joyful expectation that good is coming."

In the book of Hebrews, we read "Now, faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things not seen." 

Both of the scriptures denote the hopeful confidence and expectation of a future event, that is not yet seen. 
I think of promises in the Scriptures that I am waiting on for their manifestation and fulfillment in my life, especially promises regarding healing. I think of prophetic words that have been spoken over me through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I think of words I have written in my journals that I know, that I know, that I know are from God. Yet some of these words and promises seem to be in direct opposition to my current circumstances. But, still, I WILL hope. 

As of this writing, I battle unrelenting pain and fatigue in my physical body. Some of my family members also battle serious, chronic health issues. I am tempted, many times, to give in to fear and discouragment. That is when the Holy Spirit comes and gives me divine enablement to persevere. 

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Romans 5:5 says We're not ashamed to have this confidence, because God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We have the very Spirit of God, pouring out His love into our hearts as we confidently wait, expect, hope. 

Paul writes, of Abraham, "Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping--believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!"
"Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;…"
"As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not."

Think about that ! We can have hope because Abraham hoped against hope that God's promise to him, approximately 25 years previously, would come to pass. God is never late. He is always right on time. 

Hebrews 10:23 says "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."







Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Does The Heart Say?

Heart of Flesh : Mixed Media Sakura Ink and Watercolor

Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. Prov 4:23

kardía – heart; "the affective center of our being" and thecapacity of moral preference (volitional desirechoice. 

Did you know that God can give you a new heart?

"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:33

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:7

I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. Jeremiah 32:39

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and have confessed Him as your Savior, He has given you a new heart. 

Your heart has been changed. This is important! Many people are not aware they no longer have a sinful heart, and they remain in bondage to the past and circumstances in their lives which set themselves up as strongholds against an abundant life. 

Imagine how tragic it would be for someone to be locked up in a filthy prison cell and all the while they had the key to unlock the door to walk right out into the fresh air, sunshine and freedom.  

This is how many Christians live, imprisoned in a cells of torments of all types.  They have bought a lie. They have a deceptive mindset telling them they are still unworthy sinners just getting through a few more weary days before flying away. 

Beloved, this is not what our Father has in mind for us ! When we become a son or daughter of  The Most High, He imparts His very own righteousness into us. He "tattoos", if you will, His Word upon our hearts. Instead of tablets of stone, His law is written on our very own hearts!

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebews 10:22

Because of what our High Priest, Jesus the Messiah, did for us, We can draw near to God with a FULL assurance of faith. He has baptized our hearts and changed our nature to His nature. We are NEW creations. The old us has died and the new us has been raised up into newness of life. 

Do we always act like God? No, but if we seek Him and listen to Him and live from a place of WHOLE-heartedness, will will begin to see our desires, thoughts and actions change. 

Take delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 34:7

Is your desire to know Jesus more, to have His kind of heart? 
It's there for the taking. 
These promises are your key to unlocking the door to an abundant life. 


God's Got Your Number

Blood Moon : Mixed Media Image Transfer and Acrylic on Canvas

Has it occurred to you, lately, that God's got your number? 
He does. 
Here's what the Scriptures, His love letter to us, say: 

Luke 12:7The Message (MSG)

6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

      God often speaks to me in ways some people might consider to be odd, but I know it is His personal signature in my life. For example, I find pennies all the time, in the most unusual places. 

   It started back in the late 90s when my husband and I were serving on the staff of a church. We were on a youth trip in Florida, near Pensacola and Brownsville where the epic revival at Brownsville Assembly had occurred. But I wasn't there. 
   I was wistfully wishing I was somewhere I wasn't. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? Has it ever seemed like you were a spectator? You wanted to be in the game, but you couldn't even get close enough to try out for the team? That's how I felt. 

     Then it happened...everywhere I walked, I found pennies. Hundreds of them...all along the sidewalks in the campground, in my bed, on the beach. I started having my own personal revival. My Father God was playing a game with me !

   When we got home from the trip, I found them scattered in my yard. Ever since, I have found them. When I pick one up, I thank God for providing for me. It's like His way of letting me know that He is Jehova-Jireh, the God Who provides. 

But let's get back to numbers. My number, lately, is 444. I see it everywhere. I will just happen to look at the time and it is 444. I looked at my Blue Ridge Diva Facebook Page and as of this writing, I have 444 likes. I got frozen yogurt the other day and my tab was 444. You get the picture. 

   Recently, I created a mixed media piece with image transfers. It was April, which happens to be the 4th month. At the time, I wasn't sure why I chose the images I did, but I knew they were speaking to me. I decided to stencil 444, in red, as the last element of the piece. 
I didn't know it at the time, but the Blood Moon in April was on 4/4 and it lasted 4 minutes and 44 seconds. It occurred during the Feast of Passover. The image of a blood moon is at the upper right hand corner of my piece. 
In my devotional Scripture reading, I came upon this, from Isaiah 44:4

I will pour water on the thirsty ground
    and send streams coursing through the parched earth.
I will pour my Spirit into your descendants
    and my blessing on your children.
They shall sprout like grass on the prairie,
    like willows alongside creeks.
This one will say, ‘I am God’s,’
    and another will go by the name Jacob;
That one will write on his hand ‘God’s property’—
    and be proud to be called Israel.”

   I was astonished to see these images in my artwork. The blue speaks of the water, the willow is right there, and to the right of the willow, the prairie grasses grow. This scripture was, and is, great comfort to me. It is wonderful to know  I am being led by His Spirit when I create, and He will speak to bring edification, exhortation and comfort. This is my prayer and confidence. 
   One morning I was barely awake and I kept hearing a 7 number sequence in my mind. It seemed vaguely familiar, but I just couldn't remember why. I got up to get my coffee, but it wouldn't leave me alone. So, I did what I often do when I need information, and I "Googled" the number.

It was the phone number of a dear friend  I don't get to see or talk to nearly enough for my liking. She is working full time, going to grad school at night and raising her three grandchildren. 
   The Lord spoke to my heart and said, "Call Dana. Tell her I've got her number. My eyes are on her at all times. I watch over her and I am taking care of her."
He is Jehovah-Rohi, the God Who sees.

   I called her and got her voice mail, but I left that message. 
A few days later she called me back to tell me that the message came at just the right time. Her family had been going through some trials, but their confidence and hope was in God. It was a great encouragement, and it was wonderful to be a messenger of hope. 
God is always, always speaking. In everything, He speaks. 
Look for Him. Be expectant. 
He does not disappoint !