I am an Artist

As a young adult, my poor self-esteem carried over into my new Christian life. God decided to use art as His way of proving to me that Christ in me was totally capable and I could trust in Him.

 

He put His desire in my heart to paint. Too poor to afford supplies, I used some old paint belonging to my mother-in-law, some toothpicks and some egg shells with the insides literally blown out.

 

I “painted” flowers, birds, dogs, cats, trees, mountains and all sorts of nature on those egg shells and declared myself an artist. My former husband said I had to sell my art before I could claim that fame.

 

Well, not to be undone, I asked my Daddy to take my “art” to work with him to see if they would sell. He gave me some end-caps from metal tubing to glue on the bottom of each egg as a stand, and they were quite attractive.

 

Within a few days they all sold for $3.00/each; and Daddy’s workmates gave me special orders to “paint” family pets, beautiful landscapes and other meaningful visuals from photos, which they gave me as examples.

 

Of course, I had no natural talent, but Christ in me duplicated every one of those special orders perfectly; and I had myself a new and thriving “cottage” business.

 

With the money I earned, I bought painting supplies: real brushes, small canvases and fresh paints. I stayed up painting for hours after my family went to bed and my chores were finished.

 

I kept one of those paintings (I still have it) and gave away the rest of them as gifts. Once my supplies ran out, I went back to my original love of making crafts out of trash.

 

I used them to decorate my home and as gifts as well. I started making my own greeting cards, which I still do to this day. Then, I moved into the realm of making jewelry for myself and as gifts.

 

I added the God-given talent of buying clothes at thrift stores and mixing and matching them with scarves and my jewelry as works of art. Now, I am perfectly dressed from head to toe no matter where I am, even while cleaning at home.

 

I am so glad that I “inherited” my Daddy God’s creative abilities through Christ in me (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and I look forward to continuing to create out of other people’s trash for the rest of my days on this earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for encouraging my young life with Your creative powers through Christ in me. I pray that You will do this exact miracle for everyone with low self-esteem who comes to know You as their personal Savior. Build them up in the most holy faith and bless them and allow them to bless others by Your love within them (Jude 1:20-25).

 

When Your creativity flows out of us in the form of art, baking, needlepoint, childcare, writing, building, mentoring Your Saints, engineering, teaching a class, singing, mechanics, gardening, playing musical instruments, preaching a sermon or whatever form which You choose to anoint our life, we feel at one with You in every respect (Exodus 35:1-5, 35:35; 1 Chronicles 15:16; Job 19:23-24).

 

Thought for the Day:

An artist is not born overnight, but cultivated over years of inspiration from our Father God, because He makes all things beautiful in His own time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
 

Advertisements

New Creation – Part 2

God started a good work in me and continues to make me a new creation (Philippians 1:6). Introspection was an affliction, which contributed to my low self-esteem and introverted tendencies. God’s Holy Spirit healed this burden by ending my negative self-talk and filling me with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I tended to be one-track minded and had no skill for multi-tasking, until my children were born – what mother does not learn to multi-task?

Fighting depressive thoughts and looking at the glass as half-empty were two other melancholic traits, from which God delivered me. He taught me to focus on the eternal rather than the earthly; eventually worldly cares and concerns stopped bothering me so much.

Feeling like a victim or a savior were two other traits, which God freed me from by reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and Jesus is the only Savior the world needs (Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:14).

Holding grudges caused me problems until God taught me about forgiveness – not only about forgiving others, but about forgiving myself as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Mercy and grace became my guide stones.

Worry is another weakness, which plagued my life until God taught me to have faith in His faithfulness and that He would eventually work out everything, even the most negative situation, for my good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, these negative natural tendencies crippled my life and gave me a pessimistic outlook. I could not see the joy You created all around me. As you transform me to have the mind of Christ, all of nature, each person I encounter and every detail of my day become an adventure and a blessing in my life. I look forward to each new day in Your presence. Thank You for making me a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
Transformation is a voyage of discovery of who we are in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Self-Confidence or God-Confidence

There is nothing on this earth that I want more than to be filled through all of my being with all of the fullness of God, and to have the richest measure of His presence until I completely overflow with God Himself (Ephesians 3:19). This starts at Salvation when we receive all of God’s fullness. He moves in by His Spirit with all of His glory and power.

I know that there is no way to contain more of God, because His fullness already abides in Believers; but I do want to experience a fuller awareness of His presence and leading. Too often, we are so full of our self, that we miss out on the fullness of God within us. The more we allow our flesh and self-confidence to dictate our life, the less we walk in the Spirit.

We need to surrender to God the self-assured part of our identity in order to trust Him. People with a high opinion of their assets have so much to overcome, but those who suffer with self-doubt and who lack self-esteem are closer to walking in the Spirit. The uncertain, timid person is already light years ahead of most people. Insecure people trust God more than those who are secure in their self.

What we need more than self-confidence in our human attributes is our confidence and identity in God. John advised us to decrease, so that Christ in us may increase (John 3:30). We gain our identity in who we are in Christ, not in who we are as a person. There is nothing, which God calls us to do, that we cannot accomplish, once we realize the extent of His power within us (Philippians 4:13).

If we list our human assets and talents, we discover the gifts God gave us. For instance, what are we good at? What positive character traits do we already have? These are the areas where God is already shining through us. We are His light in the world (Matthew 5:16). God lives in us, and we have all the power of the godhead working through us. Now, that fact will improve any self-image!

Prayer:
Father God, when we face challenges in life, which overwhelm our faith, we are tempted to roll up our sleeves and apply some human effort to the problem. We fail to realize our limited human resources. Remind us that the nation of Israel faced such an issue at the outskirts of Canaan, and felt like grasshoppers. They wandered in the wilderness, because they thought they had to rely on their human effort rather than on Yours. Give us the faith to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
When we gain our identity from Christ in us, rather than from our human capabilities or insufficiencies, we accomplish everything, which God calls us to do.

Just the Way We Are

Just the Way We Are

Living in fear of someone discovering our true identity often drives us just this side of insanity. We dread someone else realizing that we are just “not enough”. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not strong enough, not kind enough, not capable enough…not enough. Jesus came to give us good news. We all fall short of the glory of God.

There is no one good enough, not even one (Romans 3:10-12, 23). Even people with a high opinion of their self have issues with insecurity. We all have little nagging doubts, which corrode our confidence and whittle away at our self-esteem. We live under a cloud of negative self-talk. We hide behind superficial masks, in hopes that no one will ever uncover just how deficient we really are.

Once we come to Christ, we can stop pretending, stop striving to be good and throw our self on the mercy and grace of God instead. He accepts us just the way we are (Romans 5:8). We need no pretenses with Him. He loves us in spite of our failings. God is our Father who cares for us, nurtures us and provides for all of our needs: spiritually, physically and in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions.

Our Heavenly Daddy gives us a sense of security as we dwell in Him and He dwells in us. His love fills in the gaps in our self-esteem and changes our opinion about our deficiencies. We no longer need to fear life and its consequences, to listen to any negative self-talk or to believe anyone else’s negative opinion of us. We are complete in Christ (Colossians 1:27, 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we drink from the living water of Your Word, which calms our soul and fills our spirit with godly character, Jesus’ divine nature and the fruit of Your Holy Spirit (John 7:38; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Galatians 5:22-23). When fears creep in to cripple us and render us ineffective for You and for a productive life, we can run to Jesus, who is the Rock that is higher than we are (Psalm 61:2). He gives us power over these demonic attacks and He strengthens us to prolifically bloom where You plant us.

Thought for the Day:
God provides His people with a Sabbath rest from our weary labors; for when we enter God’s rest, we stop spinning our wheels and trust Him to bless our lives with His fullness. – Hebrews 4:9-12