Starting out with my morning meditation-
I'm using acrylics,
and outlining the painting with a brown pencil.
"He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd." Mark 6:34
One of the first things we learn about God is that He loves us. I remember staring at a plaque on the wall when I was young. It had the words, "God is Love", and I remember feeling God say to me in my heart, "Yes I am." Imagine the Creator of the Universe, the one who breathed the gigantic enormous stars into being, taking the time to speak to a little girl in her small, ordinary little bedroom. He SEES us. He sees EACH ONE of us. Jesus saw the crowds, and had compassion on them. He FELT their pain. Jesus saw the leper, the blind man, the sick child, and He gave them what He could. I have to confess that I am an expert at NOT SEEING, at ignoring the need around me. It is easier if we do not see, then we do not need to act. But if we are to be like Jesus, we need to see. Seeing is where we need to start. God's heart breaks when He sees the crowd of humanity without a shepherd, so He sent His son to be the Good Shepherd, and to be our example of what the "image and likeness of God is". We are meant to "take on an entirely new way of life- a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you." (Eph.4:22 Msg)
For the new year, it's good to make all these resolutions to lose weight, to be more organized, to be more productive, etc etc, but let's include an intentional step by step plan to take on the character of Jesus. It's going to take a lifetime, but it will take us on a journey to our rightful place as sons and daughters of the King!
"We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ..." 1 John 3:23
Who is this man, John, who has the audacity to say we must believe in the name of Jesus? He is a cousin of Jesus, one of the sons of Salome, Mary's sister. He probably grew up with Jesus, knew Him as a young boy, saw Him grow up, witnessed how He ate, played, talked. John touched Him, heard Him, followed Him. And then grew to believe in Him and trust Him. Sometimes when someone becomes a great preacher or celebrity or politician, or marries royalty, there are these "tell-all" books that come out of the woodwork. if you read these books, all the sordid details about this person's life comes out. But not with Jesus.
The people who grew up with Him like John, the men who were called to follow Him like Peter, were prepared to die for the very truths He taught them. And they wrote about it, with passion! If we continue to read the words of John, and read the words of Jesus in the Gospels, we too will be filled with passion and love for Jesus, the God who became man to save us!
"When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!" Matthew 2:10
Many myths have grown around the story of the three wise men, "magi"as they were called in the Greek manuscript. We can say they were the first Christian pilgrims, and they came from very far away, perhaps Persia, almost a thousand miles across the Arabian desert. They were guided by a star, which many scientists now believe to be Jupiter, which at the time of Jesus' birth, behaved in a once in a lifetime set of movements of rising, going backward, and even seemingly staying stationary over Bethlehem. When they arrived, they gave the child Jesus gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense, gifts fit for a king.
The wise men were filled with joy when they saw the star, a very unique sign that a king was born. Imagine how much more joy they experienced when they found Him! They found Him in very ordinary set of circumstances, a small house, a simple young woman took care of Him, and yet they recognized Him, knelt before Him and worshiped Him. We too should not wait for amazing occurrences or miracles to recognize God in our midst. God became man, and He is among us today, in simple people we meet, in our every day experiences. Let us not miss His presence!
Let's be excited and hopeful for the new year!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you for these great pictures
of my son Josh and his cousins, Robert Alejandro!
Have a happy, bright and blessed new year everyone!
I find a lot of inspiration
So many WONDERFUL blogfriends