New Purpose

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 

Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Flea Market is this weekend, and we are having a blast set up as vendors. If you live close, stop by this morning. If you do not live close, mark your calendar for next August.

Preparations began weeks ago as we scoured barns, auctions and estate sales for pieces we could give a new life. This work is not for the faint of heart. We scrubbed, glued, sanded, painted and stained. But, all the work is worth the effort when we see the customer’s eyes sparkle as they find the perfect table and explain how their daughter will use it as a writing desk to do her homework. It is so rewarding to be a part of the process of connecting people with just the right table to make their house a home!

If I am able to take an old worn out table and turn it into a new writing desk for a 12 year old girl, just think of what Christ is able to do with your tired life? He is able to give your life new purpose!

Batik

Exodus 26:1  “Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen add blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman.

A friend from Minnesota traveled to Indonesia where she learned the art of batik. She explained in detail how the women began the process with a simple piece of fabric. They then use a template to stamp scalding wax onto the fabric, which is then soaked in a dye bath. This process is repeated several times until the desired depth and color are achieved. The beauty of batik is in the wax which is the first thing applied to the fabric. You can not see the wax on the fabric until the dye is applied. The darker the dye, the more beautiful the fabric.

God has been with you from before you were born. He is always with you, shining through our simple lives. The darker life becomes, the brighter Christ shines. He created each of us a special, unique work of art.  You, my friend, are beautiful and loved by Jesus!

 

Pray Ave

Matthew 6:5-13  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then, is how you should pray:

” ‘ Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

One of the greatest gifts we have been given is the ability to communicate with our Lord, the creator of the universe! How mind blowing is that? The one who breathed life into all of creation takes the time to not only listen, but respond to your requests.

May you find peace as you travel down your Prayer Avenue!

 

The Dog Days Of Summer

Wanda's iPhone 5 021

2 Timothy 4:2-5  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 

As we walk through the long, hot days of summer, know that you are not walking alone. Jesus is with you through every season of life. Listen to his calming voice in the sounds of summer. He will protect you from overheating if you slow down enough to find shelter in him.

May your summer days be filled with laughter, joy, praise and thanksgiving!

 

The Verses That Keep Me Up at Night

James 3:1-2  Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. 

Last week I attended the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference in St. Paul. It was amazing! I was most inspired by Kathleen Kerr who spoke during my first break out session. She didn’t sugar coat her message as she reminded me of the responsibility I have as a Christian writer to share Jesus’ story of truth and hope.

Jesus taught many truths through story telling. I learned about Jesus through story telling in Sunday School when I was just a small child. Stories make a difference in lives every day. How will you tell your story of Jesus’ impact on your life? You have a unique voice. No one can tell the story of Jesus the way you can. What if John never told his story. Instead he said “yeah, I have nothing more to say, Matthew, Mark and Luke have already said it all”. We never would have heard John’s story.

Is it worth it? You bet it is! If just one life is changed by the words I write, it is all worth it. What Bible verses keep you up at night? Praise God for those verses. He is speaking directly to you!

Watch Your Step

Psalm 37:23-24  If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

In London, when I traveled on the Tube, every time the doors opened a prerecorded message announced “Mind the gap” (with a great English accent, of course). In Indiana, when I traveled on a train, every time I boarded, I saw a “WATCH  YOUR STEP” sign on the steps. Warnings are everywhere reminding me to choose careful footing so I don’t fall.

In Psalms I am reminded that it is OK if I stumble. The Lord has my back. He will catch me with his hand! Think about it….. I stumble every day. But that is OK. Because of Jesus redeeming grace, I am caught, loved and set back on my life’s path!

This week as you walk through life, I pray your steps are firm. If you stumble, fall into the hands of Jesus. He will lift you up.

 

Firecracker Faith

Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot. Be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my sister’s house on a lake in Wisconsin. Every night we were there, after dark people began shooting fireworks over the lake. It was spectacular watching the dark sky illuminate with the most beautiful colors. Each explosion was unique in its individual beauty.

May your faith light up the lives of everyone you meet. Let your love for Jesus explode in this dark world like the 4th of July!