Friday, April 17, 2015

Paint Party Friday: Surrounded by Blessing!

“Better for us to obey God than men!” Acts 5:29
Obedience brings blessing. There are many absurd stories of men in the Bible who obeyed strange things that God told them to do. I can imagine how difficult that was! How Noah had to suspend his rational thinking when he obeyed God and built an ark. How Abraham had to leave all that was familiar for the unfamiliar. And how about Moses?!!!
When I was young, I went on a month long trip to Europe with my mom. I enjoyed it so much I vowed I would go back as soon as I saved enough money. Ten years after, on January 1, during my prayer time, when I had the money, I asked God permission to go back. I felt God say, "Go to Jerusalem." I was supremely disappointed. For a young girl, Jerusalem meant serious praying, not fun. I countered, "You have to confirm that, God!" The next day, I was back at prayer and asked God again. I opened the Bible, and out jumped at me the words, "Go to Jerusalem. That is where you will see my face." Sighing, I set out to obey. But every trip to Jerusalem I joined, did not push through. Even when I gave money, the tour operator would refund the money. I got very frustrated!

Then I was invited to the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon (The Joy of the Lord) Covenant Community. The first time I attended a gathering as a member, the leader said, "In our district, we have a yearly theme. Our theme this year is "Holiness: Following Jesus to Jerusalem. To be led where we would rather not go. (John 21:18)"

 I thought the theme was very strange! Who makes a theme like that? But I had a feeling that Ligaya was my Jerusalem. When we were singing our hearts out to God, the head knowledge that Ligaya was my Jerusalem travelled down to my heart. It was like something concrete going down from my head to my heart and I could follow its path. When it reached my heart, God spoke and said, "Yes, this is your Jerusalem."
Yes, obedience brings blessing. In my community, I see the face of God through my wonderful brothers and sisters. I see the generosity of God, His goodness, forgiveness, His compassion. I met my husband in community. Yesterday, when I wrote this, it was our 21st wedding anniversary! We had a double wedding with my sister who also met her husband in community. How wonderful to be surrounded by God's love and blessing!

Here are some pictures from our double wedding.

Father Tarsi made a mistake when he said, Luigi and Lito...
instead of "Luigi and Patsy"!!!
Everyone laughed heartily with him
when he explained it was his first double wedding! 

So much fun and laughter...

And here is my family.

How amazing that it has been 21 years!!!!

"Gather up the crusts that are left over so that nothing will go to waste." John 6:12
In chapter 6, John recounts the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Jesus fed 5000 men (women and children were invisible in those days and were simply not counted!!!) with 2 fish and 5 barley loaves.
What is amazing to me is that after everyone was fed and had their fill, Jesus asked the disciples to "Gather up the crusts that are left over so that NOTHING will go to waste." Why? Couldn't He just forget about those crusts? Why did He not let the people bring it home? What did He do with those twelve baskets of left overs?

All that we have, our money, our home, our work is all God's. Our time, our gifts and talents, our energy is all His. So when we give, we are merely returning what is His. Still, it appears God is very careful with what we give Him, that NOTHING will go to waste. When I give Him my time in prayer, or serving in some way, I can be sure that He will multiply what time I have left and I am able to accomplish more than if I did not dedicate some time to Him in the morning. When I give Him my gifts, I have seen how He has made it bloom and grow. With money, when I give tithes, I have tested Him as He said in Malachi 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."
Lord, help me to always give thanks for everything I have. Give me the gift of generosity that nothing You have given me will go to waste!


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  1. Your wedding pictures are delightful! I also love how you are using magazine pictures as reference and re-interpreting them.

  2. What beautiful brides you and your sister were. Happy anniversary. I also love your illustrations and your use of magazine faces to inspire your drawings. That verse in Malachi is the only one I think where God says test me. I am working on giving with more grace - time is harder for me than money, but I am working in both areas. Thank you for sharing your lovely post and for the visit with your family

  3. What a wonderful story of God's leading you where you did not want to go, all for the purpose of blessing you more than you could imagine. Happy 21st anniversary to you and your sister. I am so glad I took the time to read this, even though I am tired and ready to just go to bed.
    Blessing hugs,

  4. I so love your posts and your art. My friend Margaret Ann was in the New Jerusalem Community with Father Bob Bedard who started the Companions of the Cross. Thank you so much for posting your very beautiful art with us this week at Word Art Wednesday. We hope to see you again next week.
    Blessings, Carole

  5. Oh, my! Happy anniversary to you and your sister!! What fun memories of such a joyous day! Yes, community is SO important, especially when we are a part of God's community of brothers and sisters! Also, those are such beautiful and moving paintings, as always!!

  6. Happy Anniversary. . .what a beautiful life story. Blessings, Janet PPF

  7. I love the wedding pictures! What a wonderful thing, to be able to share your wedding day with your sister.

    Love love love the paintings and the story about Jerusalem. I know I need to listen closely to hear my answers, especially when the answer is not the one I want to hear!


I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy