Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wonder

As children, we walk through our day in constant wonder.  Discovery and exploration is around every corner.  Play is built into our DNA and we are constantly asking the question why.  As we become adults it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life,  forgetting about the wonder, no longer questioning, or exploring.  In Mathew 18 Jesus encourages us to become like children.  My prayer today is that I would slow down and rediscover the wonder that God planted inside me.  I pray that I would be humble and know that God still has much to teach me.


Mathew 18:2-6 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Out of the overflow



Ephesians:3:14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Discovering new trails

I love to explore new trails.  There is something magical about discovering what is around the next corner, or over the next hill.  My family has labeled me the sandbagger because I always tend to extend the ride or hike further than originally advertised.  If I say a mountain bike ride will be 5 miles, my wife and boys will look at each other with a knowing glances and say 10 at least.  There is always something to be discovered.  Just this morning while walking the dog I came across a fawn lying down under a tree.  The mama was near by and gave us a warning glace.  We headed off trail a bit to give them plenty of room and discovered a new trail that we had not yet explored.  Our 2 mile morning walk quickly turned into a 5 mile hike.  We explored a section of the Deschuetes river that I had not hiked along before. 
I find myself in constant wonder of God's creation.  There is such diversity and attention to detail.   I believe that God planted the love of adventure into my very soul, and have found him to be the best guide.   He has taken me places that I never dreamed I would go and mapped out adventures far better than those I could plan on my own.  I encourage you to seek God in your adventures and search out the path that he has marked for you.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Strength

Samson lived a roller coaster of a life.  In the end he called on the Lord to allow him to use his strength one last time, knowing that his fate would be the same as those who were torturing and abusing him.  He literally brought the house down.  We can learn much from Samson's story, probably the point that sticks out the most is that worldly desires can distract us from our purpose, and zap our ability to use the strengths and gifts that God has provided us.   I pray that I would keep my eyes on the prize and quickly recognize and avoid the temptations that seek to pull me away from God.

 Judges 16:28-30

28 Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. 30 And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Overflow

I spent a little time drawing on a piece of slate that I have on our back deck.  We are in between seasons in Bend.  One day is sunny and 60 and the next brings cold and snow.  I enjoy this time of year, often a light snow is falling in the morning which quickly melts, giving way to the warming rays of the afternoon sun.  The weather reminded me of Isaiah 55: 10-12, which illustrates God's provision of rain and snow to water the earth and bring forth new life.  Similarly his word waters our heart, mind and soul, causing new growth, fruit, and eventually overflow.  It is through that overflow that we are able to love others.   My prayer today is that I would plant God's word deep into my being, and that I would use the overflow of the fruit produced to serve others.


Isaiah 55: 10-12
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

“For you shall go out in joy

    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A welcome distraction


I have found that most of my painting and drawing time has recently been otherwise occupied with a fluffy addition to our family.  Adding a puppy to the mix has reminded me a little of what it was like when our kids were toddlers.  They need lots of attention, constant supervision, and function best when we stick to a schedule.  I have had a-lot of time to reflect on our 4:30 AM walks along the Deschutes river.  Knox has even sparked creativity in me by inspiring me to make dog leashes from retired rock climbing rope.
Most of all adding a new puppy has reminded me that we all start from zero.  We don't understand the world around us, we do not know right from wrong, and we do not know how hard we can chew on our care taker.  We initially have to learn everything through trial and error.  As I reflected on this I found myself being very thankful for a God that has allowed me to learn from my mistakes, who gently corrects me when I forget, and who takes delight in me just being me.

Proverbs 3:12 English Standard Version (ESV)


for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,

    as a father the son in whom he delights.


Psalm 37:23 English Standard Version (ESV)


The steps of a man are established by the Lord,

    when he delights in his way;


Psalm 149:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;

    he adorns the humble with salvation.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Who is your neighbor

       Drawing - Grand Goave Haiti Nov. 2017

Who is your neighbor?  I asked myself this question as I read the below scripture.  Often we think of our neighbors as those that live on our street, cul-de-sac, or just next door.  It is easy to discount those that we do not have regular contact with.  The truth is that God puts "neighbors" in front of each of us every day.  We have the choice to ignore, tear down, or build up each person we come in contact with.  This could be at work, in the park, on the phone, in traffic, at the grocery store, in the airport, at a sporting event, walking down the street, etc....  My prayer today is that I would take the below words to heart and practice kindness, treating others as God has treated me.  I pray that God will continue to expand my neighborhood.



 Ephesians 4:25-32

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

No Straight Lines



Every journey starts with a destination in mind.   We often place 100% of our focus on arriving at the destination, focusing on the shortest path, and the least amount of inconvenience.  I have found in my walk with God there are no straight lines.  The destination is clear, but I will not reach it until my last breath has expired.   I never know exactly where God will ask me to turn, pause, or even retrace my steps. 

I have applied some of this line of thinking to my daily life.  I commute to work on a mountain bike.  For years I road the same river trail each day as it was the shortest path avoiding roads between my office and my house.  A couple years ago I began to explore alternative routes and found that when I thought in terms of the journey instead of just the destination it opened up all sorts of fantastic trails.  My commute can be as short as 5 miles, but sometimes extends as long as 26.  I find inspiration in Gods creation and riding through the woods each day fills me with awe and wonder. 

My prayer today is that I would be sensitive to the path that God is leading me, I pray that I would not question the route, and that I would be obedient to his gentle nudge.  In Psalm 91 I am reminded that God is not only our guide, but also our protector.

Psalm 91English Standard Version (ESV)

My Refuge and My Fortress

91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Branching out


 When I sketched this I was thinking specifically about branching out.  Sometimes God gives you the opportunity to do something new.  It can be exciting, scary, and even confusing.  It can be a blank page, or simply joining a different one of his adventures.  It can be born out of Joy, peace,  pain, or even sorrow.   As an artist I enjoy the blank page.  There is so much potential, and I never know what might emerge from my scratches and scribbles.  I start my process without a destination in mind and simply attempt to focus on the direction God is leading.  At times I take a false turn, or jump ahead, but God patiently waits for me to return to the path he has laid out.  My prayer today is that I would be sensitive to the direction he is leading me.  I pray that I will always be open to the next blank page that God is presenting, and I pray that I would rely on him to branch out.


Isaiah 43:18-19
 
“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

God does not have an address

Sketch - Port Au Prince Haiti 
 As I sketched this I was reminded that God does not have an address.  He is not limited by borders, governments, or curfews.  He exists equally in castles and back alleys.  It is sometime easy to put God in a box, associate him with Sunday and the church.   God can not be contained or constrained.  His desire to be with us is so strong that he gave his only son (Jesus) as a sacrifice.  Jesus, in one selfless act, took on all our sin, past and present, so that we could be forgiven.  My prayer today is that I would not squander that gift, that I would be sensitive to Gods calling in my life,  and that I would be a willing tool yielded in his hand. 

John 3:16-18 (ESV)

For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Psalm 92

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grand Goave Haiti


Southwest of Port au Prince is a small town know as Grand Goave.  It is a unique place where the hill country meets the beaches of the Caribbean.  The feel is rural countryside where goats and cattle are tethered along the roadside to browse on lush grasses.  The beaches are shell covered and quite.  Fishermen can be scene paddling dugout canoes,  setting and checking their lobster traps.
  The day I visited was slightly overcast and very warm.  The water was inviting and the reefs were loaded with tropical fish.  Fresh fruit and vegetables were displayed at roadside markets.  It is hard to believe it is a short 1-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Port au Prince.  The feel of the place and the day was peaceful and reminded me of Galatians 5:22-26


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentlenesses, self-control; against such things, there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Luke 12:24

I love the imagery in the bible.  Take the below verse.  It begins, Consider the ravens.  Right away my brain begins to conjure  up images of ravens.  They are really interesting birds that have mastered living in some of the most extreme environments.  I have seen them high in the mountains of Oregon soaring through blizzard conditions, and in the scorching deserts of Arizona.  In fact they live throughout major portions of North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and in all terrestrial biomes except tropical rain forests.  So I reflect and consider the raven, then I read the rest of the verse.  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!.  How much time do I waste worrying about tomorrow?  My prayer today is that I would trust more in God's plan than my own. 

Luke 12:24

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Port Au Prince Part II - Bondye se lanmou

While traveling around Port Au Prince I could not help but notice vivid color everywhere.  I can close my eyes and still see the art on wheels know as Tap Taps (group taxis), brightly colored homes and the paintings lining the walls of the street market.  Rather than taking photos along the way, I decided to simply soak in the sights and then attempt to sketch from memory the various scenes from my trip.  My sketches have ended up being a compilation of impressions from the many scenes that I witnessed throughout the city.   As I sketch God has reminded me of the beauty of the City and its millions that call it home.  I pray that God will continue to work mightily in Haiti, in and through the people who call it home. 

 

1 Jan 4: 7

 Bondye se lanmou

Mezanmi, se pou nou yonn renmen lòt paske renmen se nan men Bondye, e moun ki renmen Bondye te fèt nan Bondye e li konnen Bondye.


1 John 4:7

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Port Au Prince Haiti


I recently returned from a trip to Port Au Prince Haiti.  My brain is still swimming with the beautiful images of the small island country.  My friends the Reeves family graciously hosted me during my trip.  They are the current directors of Child Hope International, an organization rooted in caring for orphans and reconnecting families.   I spent the week with them and have returned home with a fresh view of Haiti and the amazingly resilient people who call it home.  The above sketch is the first in a series that I hope one day to turn into a larger painting.


Isaiah 26:1-3

A Song of Praise

26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
    God makes salvation
    its walls and ramparts.

Open the gates
    that the righteous nation may enter,
    the nation that keeps faith.

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Three times

“Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:34‬ ‭ESV‬‬
This  verse has haunted me many times.   How often have I made a promise to God and failed to deliver.  Peter  had the best intention when he answered that he would not deny Christ, but when pressed, he caved.  My prayer today is that I would stop trying, and start relying.   I pray that I would trust in the face of adversity, and that I would let go of my insecurities that tend to push me into the comfort of the shadows.  


Friday, October 13, 2017

Two are better than one

 Today I find myself very thankful for the one that God has given me as my helpmate.  My prayer is that I would not take that relationship for granted.  I pray that God will show me unique ways to show my appreciation, affection, and joy to the woman that stands with me through it all. 

 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Broken Chalk Board part 2

Romans 1:19-20(ESV)

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Roots

Roots:  what is hidden from view, supports, nourishes, and bears fruit in what is visible.  The hidden jewels of our hearts, and that which we identify and sink our roots into, will be apparent in the fruit we produce.  I pray that my roots will always be anchored in Jesus.

Question to ponder:  What are you rooted in? What is nourishing you?  

Friday, July 21, 2017

And The Chains Fell Off

  Peter was in jail, no chance for escape, then the impossible happened.  God loves to make the impossible possible.  It is through our weakness that his strength shines through.  Question to ponder: What impossible thing are you trusting God with?

Acts 12:7 (ESV)

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.  And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.
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