I love to draw and paint old quaint buildings like this small church. They are reminders to me of s simpler time when bigger was not always better and better meant you were always striving to be your best. It seems today many churches, in order to appeal to the masses and grow their churches have tweaked the truth. I have peace in the knowledge that yes Jesus wants our best but we are not to change a one iota of the message in order to appear better.
In life there are times when you need to step back and find your happy place. A happy place is somewhere quiet where you can be free of the hustle and bustle of the world around you. A quiet place can be a room, a place in the yard or another place where you can pray or talk to God. My happy place is when I do my art work. It is in those moments of creating a drawing where I lay pencil to paper and talk to God at the same time. These are the times when the tension melts away and I can listen for the still quiet voice of God. Take the time to find your quiet place and go there daily.
Over the course of my Christian life I have attended or visited many churches. Some of the churches have been mega churches with a couple thousand member, still others have had moderate membership upwards of a few hundred and lastly are the smaller churches with around 50 members. The most recent church I attended was a small church. I found I like the small church the best but sadly churches are at a disadvantage because they are not always viable financially.
Our church was in this position so we switched to an affiliation with another church. This at first glance is a good thing but now it appears our church is locked into getting the number of the attendees up. Now as we expand those of us who once called the church home have left and are being replaced by new members. This leaves some us long timers feeling lost in the membership shuffle. So in my thinking it is not always better when my church is bigger than your church especially when you loose the focus of why we are ALL entering the building in the first place…to honor God and fellowship with other believers.
I love to create pictures which on the surface appear to be one thing but on closer inspection are something else. I am not an expert at it yet but I am going to keep working till I get them right. Today it is quite clear to see the girl in the tree. Hopefully in the future it will not be as easy. I am reminded by this drawing of how some people, when they read the Bible, try to read between the lines with certain verses to create their own view of what God intended. The Bible was never intended to be a secretive book. What God’s Word says is pretty clear as long as you have the Holy Spirit to guide you through the book verse by verse otherwise the meaning of the words are lost like the girl in my tree.
We always think of our neighbors as the people who live in proximity to where we live. However Jesus , when asked by a lawyer about the identity of our neighbors launches into the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The whole purpose of the parable is to show the lawyer and others including us that our neighbors are anybody we see who needs our help. In other words anybody we come in contact with, because the world needs to know love. So the next time you run into a neighbor show them Jesus’ love and take the time to help them to the best of your abilities.
Have you ever had one of those days. I know I have had many in lifetime. More than I like to think about. Today’s little message is a simple one. There are three things you can do to get through one of those days.
1. Don’t dwell on the difficulty. Dwelling on things will not do you any good it will only make things worse. This is not to say it will be easy to just put the bad day out of your mind but it will help if you can.
2.Seek out friends. When you have a bad day don’t hold it in seek out the advice of friends and family to help guide you along.
3. Pray! To me this is the most important thing to do of all three. The Bible is clear we must all bring our cares and worries before God. Isaiah 41:10 has these words from God for us. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
So when you’re having one of those days seek out God and He will being your comfort.
The title of today’s drawing is, “Umbrella Man.” There are some who view God as the umbrella man. You know the guy who is going to cover your head so the rain doesn’t get to you. Isaiah 4:6 does say that God will provide,”a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” I however have learned over the years there are times when God lets the rain wash over us because He wants us to learn something from the trials or troubles in which we are embroiled. I have grown stronger in my faith through the trials I have had in my life, diabetes, cancer, deaths in the family. Each one has given me more wisdom and prepared for what is yet to come in my life. I have also lived through the times when God returned the umbrella and stopped before it became to much for me to bear. Still I must say no matter the weather condition I am living under I will put my faith In God and live my days with joy in my heart.