March 2008


The Artist at work this past week in Western New York:

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simplicityMax and I will be speaking at a women’s retreat in Pennsylvania this weekend.  The theme we chose was “A Life of Simplicity”.  There are many different angles to choose from when discussing this topic, and I would appreciate your input as I finalize my thoughts:

  • What do you think of when you hear that phrase – “a life of simplicity”?
  • What does a life of simplicity look like to you?
  • How does God show us how to live simply?
  • Please freely write all your thoughts down.  There are no silly ideas or wrong answers.  In fact, I think it will be enlightening to all of us as we read one another’s comments.

     1 Thessalonians 4:11,12 (NIV)  Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.        

    All the people answered, ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children!’ –Matthew 27:25 (NIV)

      protestersThe people seemed to be in a state of such disillusionment during these moments leading up to Jesus’ death, which, as defined in the Oxford American Dictionary, is “disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.”  They wanted to believe Him, they wanted to put hope in Him, they wanted to trust Him, yet this feeling of being manipulated must have come over them – the strong temptation to say that He was a fake, a false prophet; otherwise, I don’t think they would have been going along with the Pharisees, shouting, “Crucify him!”  And then, even more so, to go so far as to say, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” (more…)


    Matthew 27:18 (NIV)  For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. 


    In a passage from Matthew 27 (verses 11-26), the Pharisees were showing their envy of Jesus with regard to his popularity as well as having the listening ears of the people.
     

    I am asking myself this today:

    “Am I ever, like the Pharisees, envious of others in the church for their ‘success’ in using the gifts God has given to him/her?”

    If so, I want to repent and ask God for a clean and encouraging heart.  I want to be grateful for each of God’s servants and not fall to Satan’s temptations as he attempts to plant envious thoughts in my mind.  His greatest objective is to divide the Church.

    May we, as His united body, encourage and lovingly uplift one another as we work together for His glory!

    Hypocrisy – this time it is not from the Pharisees, but from one of Jesus’ disciples: 

    Matthew 26:35 (NIV) But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.   

    Matthew 26:75 (NIV) Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

     I am sure those words haunted Peter.

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    Isaac was thumbing through his book, waiting patiently for his reading time to start as I finished up some math problems with Felicia. All of a sudden, he burst out, “Mom! Come here!  Look at this! This is so cool!”

    I walked over and sat down next to him on the couch.  “Look, Mom, this is really cool.  This page tells you the name of each chapter and what page it starts on!  So… all you have to do is look at the name of whatever chapter you want to read and then you can go right to that page!  Isn’t that cool?”

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    2 women talkingThese past few weeks, there have been a number of personal friends that have been dealing with tough issues in their life.  After listening to a friend share about her hardship, usually my first reaction is to try to fix things for her or try to think of a solution.  Thankfully, in the last couple of years, the Lord has been teaching me of the need to, first and foremost, stay quiet, keep listening, and start praying. (more…)

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