Our redeemer lives! So let’s receive it and live like it matters! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 31st)

We know from the Bible that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and as such we all need a savior and a redeemer. And Jesus came once for all so that we could be saved and to redeem us so that we could be made right with God! Jesus paid the price, giving His life so that you and me could be reconciled to God! Not because we were good enough but because God is love! God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Jesus gave His all that we could be absolved of our sins and be made right with God! Jesus as we read in today’s reading from God’s Word wins the victory! Getting to read Revelation this early in the year pumps me up because it is the reason why my blog is called From 2005 to Eternity. Back in 2005 when I was prompted to start a public blog and started to share my morning readings God gave me not only the name but spoke to me in and through the book of Revelation. Each time I read it I feel like we are getting closer and closer to Jesus’ return! We all have the opportunity to receive the gift of grace today! We all have the choice to receive His love today! We all have to decide for ourselves if we will accept the truth that will set us free today!

Have you made that choice? Have You received Jesus into Your hearts as Your Lord and Savior and Redeemer? Have You decided to following for the rest of your life? Will today be your day?

The book of Revelation speaks to the end times! The book of Revelation shares that the victory is Jesus’ and so by choosing to be His, on His side, and to follow Him means you are on the winning side. It provides hope no matter what comes our way. Facing troubles? Take heart Jesus has overcome the world! Facing trials? Consider it pure joy because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. So let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Today’s reading comes from Revelation 22

The River of Life

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Jesus Is Coming

6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

7 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

–from from Revelation 22

Today’s devotional concludes the section on the impact of the Bible on visual arts. (having started part way into Jan, I will conclude my reading of the Bible in this section too). The Redeemer subject is seen all over the world but the art that is shown and discussed today comes from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro to be specific where we see the world’s largest statue of Jesus the Redeemer!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is in it. Thank You Lord for that unconditional love that goes beyond anything I can ask or even imagine. Thank You Lord that even before I knew You and loved You, You first loved me and sent Jesus to come and pay the ultimate price that I would be able to be reconciled to You. Lord I give my life into Your hands and ask for Your wisdom and discernment, direction and instruction today so that in all I think, say, and do, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

As you stand at the doorway are you ready? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 30th)

Before you is a door, what will you do with it? Imagine being inside a building and there is only a handle on the inside and you hear knocking at the door. You look to see who it is and realize it is Jesus knocking at the door to your heart. Will you open the door and invite Him in? You realize that the building is actually your heart and your life and that Jesus is wanting in. Will you open the door and let Him in?

Before you is a door, standing open in heaven. Are you ready to enter into it? Are you ready to come face to face with the one seated on the throne? Can you imagine what you would get to see? Can you imagine what it will be like? Have you realize the impact of it on the world today? Do you realize how many medieval doors have been inspired by today’s reading from Revelation 4-5? Imagine being John and getting to experience The Throne in Heaven… Imagine being John and getting to experience The Scroll and the Lamb…Are you ready for you would see? Are you ready to enter into His presence? Are you ready to speak to how you lived your life? Are you ready to express what you saw, are seeing, and will see? Heaven is for real and it is amazing to get to hear of it first from God’s Word and then from stories like the book Heaven is for Real which opened my eyes to the reality that before we had all our children and I felt a connection to Philip the evangelist who had 4 daughters who were prophetess and later God spoke to me through the story of Abraham and the promised son Isaac the day when I ask if I were going to have 4 daughters or if I would have a soon. As I read the book Heaven is for Real and heard the little boy share about his sister he met in heaven (Pages 94-96), I had a revelation and a feeling that I have 2 daughters who go to go straight into the presence of Jesus and avoid the trials and troubles of this world and how God has blessed me not only with 2 incredible daughters with me and my promised son Isaac, but that when I get to heaven we will be together with 4 daughters and 1 son. God is so amazing and I look forward to the incredible day of Jesus’ return when we will all be together worshipping God together (hoping that will be the way we all reunite with today’s reading coming from the book of Revelation).

The Throne in Heaven

4 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once iI was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was la rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

from Revelation 4

The Scroll and the Lamb

5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne ha scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, reach holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

from Revelation 5

God’s Word is true! God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word has impacted the world from the very beginning! God’s Word from today’s reading impacted many medieval church doorways…

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Are you in need and starting to knock on the door in hopes that God will open it? I know when I started to looking for a new job back in 2013 after receiving my morning reading’s message to get out of the boat, I didn’t know which side God wanted me to get out and so I started applying everywhere, even places where I didn’t think I would want to work in order to allow God to open the door He wanted and to close the ones He didn’t. Are you living out Matthew 7:7 – Asking, Seeking, and Knocking? Don’t lose hope – keep knocking and persevere! It may mean trying more than once – I heard a story last week of a person who felt God had called them to go to bible school and got rejected 2-3 times but went back one more time and that time the person they met with had just received a letter from someone half a world away who had received a message from God to send funds so that they would be able to go to bible school. God’s ways are not our ways! God’s ways are better than our ways! Lean not on our own understanding but put our hope and trust in God!

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for Your Word that never returns void and is available to me each day to fill me up and to prepare me for what is yet to come. I praise You Lord that You know even before I ask what I have need of and yet You allow me to be part of the process and build my trust and relationship with You and so I ask. Lord, Your Word even says that we have not because we ask not and so Lord I give this day into Your hands asking for wisdom and discernment, direction and instruction, boldneness and courage to complete the work You have for me to do, that You have prepared in advance for me to do. Lord not my way but Your way! Lord, not my will but Your will be done! Help me today Lord to keep You first and to speak life in love to the people You bring into my life so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Turn back to God! Rekindle the fire of love! Pursue God’s purpose with passion! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 29th)

Will you return to God before it is too late? Will you rekindle that fire of passion and pursue God’s purposes and plans with it? Will you be hot for His purpose and accomplish His calling for your life? Will you hear what He says and do it? Will you make today the first day of the rest of your life? Will you speak truth in love? Will you will you stand for truth and for what is right? Will you allow your faith to produce good fruit through the works you do? Will you persevere and press forward for the glory of God?  Don’t be distracted by the lies and deception of the devil but rather take time to listen and hear what God has for you today! This is the day that the Lord has made and so we can rejoice and be glad in it! Lean not on your own strength but rather let’s start each day worshipping God! Let’s live out our days as living sacrifices worshipping God with every breath, with every thought, with every word, and with every action that we will take! It may not be easy because of trouble that comes our way, but we can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world! It may not be easy because we face trials of many kinds, but we can consider it pure joy because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. So lets allow perseverance to finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Let us not forget! Let’s remember to remember all that God has done for us! Let’s live out our lives with every part of us worshipping Him!

Today’s reading comes from Revelation 2. It speaks to God’s calling back of the churches. His love and His desires for us to turn back to Him! His love and His desires for us to listen and respond! Let’s take a moment and read it before we consider its impact on the arts…

To the Church in Ephesus

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

2 g“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not,and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen;repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, nI will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

To the Church in Smyrna

8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last,who died and came to life.

9 “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 cHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 cHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with pa new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 s“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and xI will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, gas when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

–from Revelation 2

Today’s devotional points to the impact Revelation 2 has on the arts. Today’s example comes from Stained glass windows of York Minster which portrays the seven churches described from Revelation 2…

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord for an incredible Word preached on worshipping You. I thank You Lord for my family and friends and I lift them all up to You in hopes that they too will walk with You and have a relationship with You for the rest of their lives. Give me eyes to see today Lord things You have for me to do. Give me ears to hear so that I can have wisdom, discernment, and direction and a heart of obedience to do what You say. Help me Lord as this week I try to wrap somethings up and make sure the team is prepared for the upcoming week where I will be away. Help me Lord to follow after You and prepare in advance the good work they have to do. You are my rock and my salvation Lord and so I give it all up into Your hands so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Will you stand up for the truth? Will you stand up for what is right? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 28th)

As you prepare for this day will you stand firm? Will you put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the evil schemes of the devil? Our battle is a spiritual one, it is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Put on the belt of truth! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace as your shoes! Take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one!  Guard your mind and put on the helmet of salvation! Take time to meditate on God’s Word so that you know it and that you are prepared to use the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and praying without ceasing in the spirit! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Persevere through all things that come your way! Will you face troubles? Yes, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Will you face trials? Yes, but consider it pure joy because you know that that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Lean on God! Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!

Today’s reading comes from the book of Jude:


1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which like wise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael,contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they,like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying,“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.


24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior,through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

–from Jude

Today’s devotional speaking of the impact of the Bible on Art comes from Jude 9 where it says:

But when the archangel Michael,contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Jude 9

The impact his verse has on the arts is how they have used the archangel Michael. Be it in literature or in arts, he appears as a representative of God! Michael is a rescuing angel! Michael is a chief prince! Michael is a warrior! Michael is defender of God’s will! Michael is a respectful angel! Michael is a guardian angel!

Searching with Bing for “the archangel Michael chief priest bible verse“, we find these verses:

Jude 1:99But even thearchangelMichael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The LORD rebuke you!”

Daniel 12:11“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered.

Revelation 12:7-97Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-1813Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the LORD’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the LORD, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the LORD himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of thearchangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And so we will be with the LORD forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Daniel 10:2121but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.

Daniel 10:1313But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Today’s reading from The Global Impact Bible comes from the artist Raphael who painted St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon.

Jan 28 - Jude 9 - St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon by Raphael

The literary example that is mentioned comes from a poem by Lord Byron in reference to George III:

XXIX (29)

‘Twas the archangel Michael; all men know
The make of angels and archangels, since
There’s scarce a scribbler has not one to show,
From the fiends’ leader to the angels’ prince;
There also are some altar-pieces, though
I really can’t say that they much evince
One’s inner notions of immortal spirits;
But let the connoisseurs explain their merits.

–from The Vision Of Judgment – Poem by (Lord) George Gordon Byron

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for all that You do and have done. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that Your Word through the generations has impacted all areas of life. Today Lord I give my life and my day into Your hands in hopes that You will take it and use it for Your purposes so that in all that I think, say, and do that You will be exalted and glorified in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to not allow any distractions or diversions to keep me from being the person You created me to be. Help me Lord to stand up and stand firm and stand strong on the rock of Jesus Christ and when things get tough continue to stand! Help me Lord with wisdom and discernment to know and the courage and boldness to walk it all out in obedience to You. I ask all this in Jesus’ name so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.


How against Jesus are you? Doesn’t mean you won’t be used by God! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 27th)

Are you rejecting Jesus? Are you ignoring Jesus? Are you fighting against Jesus? Are you attacking Christians? Are you persecuting Christians? Are you trying to tear Jesus and Christians down?

Have you been hearing about the persecution that has been taking place by ISIS? Have you been hearing about the torture and murder going on around the world?

Yesterday we had the topic of “Never say never” and in there we looked at one example of someone who was so against Jesus and His followers that he got permission from the religious leaders in order to go out and persecute them. He was going around looking to round them up and bring them back bound for persecution and sentencing. Saul was on a mission to end “the Way” and was a huge threat to the Christians at the time. There was great fear and many people fled in order to try to escape the persecution. It managed to actually start spreading the new of Jesus. Saul was there when they stoned and killed Stephen. But God had a greater plan that would intersect Saul while he was on his way and turn what the enemy had planned for evil and use it for good. Saul was educated in the Jewish faith and was at a very high level of education but after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus he considered that all garbage or dung compared to knowing Jesus. He speaks to it in Philippians 3 when he says:

 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh,I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

–from Philippians 3

Imagine being someone who is so against Jesus that you would be willing to go out and try to capture them all and then kill them. Imagine if God could take all that  your past knows and turn your heart around to the point where you would become a speaker for God. Let’s take a look into today’s reading from Acts 9 and Saul’s transformation through the encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that turned him into Paul.

The Conversion of Saul

1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord,went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus,so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly alight from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and goto the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered,“Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16   will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

–from Acts 9

We need to take hold of God’s Word and believe that His Word is true! We need to not hate but defeat hate with love! We need to take hold of what we read in Matthew 5 where it tells us:

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5

Is it easy to do? Nope, not at all but we need to be like Ananias and be obedient to God’s Word and His prompting. We need to trust in God and lean not on our own understanding. Obedience is better than sacrifice and imagine having been the one who was used to find a key that opened up the reality of Jesus to the world. Imagine Ananias who was afraid of facing Saul but who in obedience did what God called him to do and released the guy, the apostle Paul, who wrote so much of the new testament. Don’t be afraid, put your trust in God! Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Trust in God!

Are you against Christians and Jesus? Now imagine being Saul and having that encounter on the road to Damascus. What type of vision or dream would it take for you to receive and believe the reality of Jesus? How can God use you to make a difference in the people and the world around you? God’s Word has impacted the world for generations and will continue to for generations to come. Why not take time to start reading God’s Word? Why not consider letting the Words of Jesus come off the pages and speak into your heart? Why not let God’s Word be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path? Why not allow the Holy Spirit to plant the seed of faith into your heart today? Why not invite Jesus into your life and ask Him to speak truth giving you the wisdom and discernment you need for today?

Jesus is coming back one day and we need to help as many people as we can enter into His presence as God allows us to for the glory of His kingdom.

Today’s reading from Acts 9 had an impact on the world of art. Today’s reading about Paul’s conversion impacted Caravaggio to paint it twice and which are on display in Rome, Italy.

Jan 27 - Acts 9_3-4 - The Conversion of Paul by Caravaggio

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You for Your Word that never returns void. I praised You for the truth that nobody is or can be too far from You to be able to turn around and come to You. Lord, I pray for my brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in You. I ask Lord that You will give them strength and wisdom to be able to complete the work You have for them to accomplish. I ask Lord that You will give them the boldness and courage to never give up! Lord, I lift up all those who are pursuing, persecuting, attacking, and killing Your people and ask Lord that You will provide them with visions and dreams of the reality of Jesus that they wouldn’t continue in the lies of the enemy whose plan is to rob, kill, and destroy them but rather Lord that they will be like the lost son and turn back to You or like a Saul who became Paul in order to spread the truth of Jesus to so many. Lord, I thank You for having touched my life and transformed me. I ask that Your Holy Spirit will have divine encounters that will not only save Your people but will also transform the hearts of those who are persecuting them and turning them back to You. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear today so that I can speak truth, life, and Your love into the world around me. Help me Lord to make a difference for the glory of Your kingdom. May this day bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Don’t give up! Never say Never! Put your trust in God! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 26th)

Does it seem impossible? Does it seem improbable? Does it seem unbelievable? Does it seem unattainable? What is in the way? What is your roadblock? What is it going to take? How would you respond if it happened? How would you respond when it happened? What would it take for you to believe? Are you willing to believe?

Imagine being the one who was missing when an event happened. Imagine everyone telling you about it but it sounded too good to be true. Imagine the miracle it would take for such a thing to happen. Imagine the change of reality it would take for it to be possible. Would you believe everyone or would you think they were trying to play a joke on you? Would you believe everyone or need more proof? Would you believe everyone or need to witness it with your own eyes? Would you say “I will never believe unless…”? Today’s theme is that we should never say never! Is it unbelief that is holding you back? Is it doubt that is keeping you from all that could have, should have, or would have? Or can you believe? Can you have faith? Can you have no doubt?

Today’s reading is from John 20 where Thomas returns to the stories of his friends. Their story was incredible. Their story was miraculous. Their story was amazing. But seemed too good to be true.

How would you have respond to Thomas as one of the people from John 20:19-23? What would you say to help encourage him to believe? What would you do to help trust that what was being described was real? How would you demonstrate the reality of everything that happened? So what about the people around you today? What about all the people God has brought into your life today who don’t believe? What are you doing? What are you saying? How are you demonstrating the reality of Jesus being alive? Don’t give up on those people! Never say never! Pray for them! Be salt in their lives! Be light in their darkness! Be hope to the hopeless! Be the love of God’s arms extended! Be the love of God’s arms embracing! Be present! Don’t give up!

Today’s reading shows us Thomas’ response…

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them,“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

–from John 20:25

Jesus can become real to people! Jesus can speak to people and help them believe! Jesus can have divine encounters with people on their road of life! Consider Saul who became Paul and how on that road to Damascus was transformed by a divine encounter with Jesus! God promises in His Word that He will give dreams and visions which many people around the world have having and encountering the reality and the truth of the love of God by having a divine encounter with Jesus! So pray for dreams! Pray for visions! Keep pouring into the lives of the people God has brought into your life at home, in your neighborhood, in your community, at school, at work, and everywhere in between. Never give up! Never say never! Press in! Press on! Don’t lose hope, put your trust in God! Might it cause trouble in this world? Take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! Might you face trials of many kinds? Consider it pure joy for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If you are still seeking then don’t give up! If you are still asking then don’t give up! If you are still knocking then don’t give up! God’s Word promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, and strength! God’s Word also promises that when you seek you will find, when you ask you will receive, and when you knock it will be opened! Don’t give up! Invite Jesus into your situation! You don’t want to wait till it is too late and be faced with the reality of your decision! You don’t want to come face to face with Jesus and miss out on everything He had planned for you! Would you want to come face to face with Jesus and be confronted by your doubt? God is gracious! God is love! God is patient! He is looking for ways to draw you back unto Him! He provided a way through faith in Jesus! He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way! He loves you so much that He made a way for you to spend all of eternity with Him! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved!

Today’s reading about Thomas impacted the world of Arts. Caravaggio painted “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” because of the story sometime called doubting Thomas.

Jan 26 - John 20_25 - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravagio

It speaks to the divine love and encounter of Jesus which is completed in John 20 when it says…

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and putout your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

–from John 20:26-29

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this day. I thank You Lord for Your Word and the truth of Your message. I know there will be hard times and in those times Lord, I pray that you will help take my faith and increase it by overwhelming any doubts or unbelief. Nothing is impossible with You! It is because of You and through You that the ability and opportunity to be saved exists. It is because of You and through You that all things are possible. So Lord, I give this day up into Your hands and ask Lord for Your help in it. I may not know what today will hold or what will unfold, but I do know that my hope and trust are in You! So Lord help me I pray to be salt and light into the world around me! Help me to not lose hope but to persevere and press in to what You have and desire for my life today. I give my day and my life into Your hands so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What would you do or how would you respond if you knew someone was about to betray you? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 25th)

Imagine that you were having dinner with your closest friends and discovered that one of them was about to betray you. Imagine if that betrayal would be life or death impacting. Imagine how you would feel. Imagine what would be going through your mind. Imagine what you would do.

Would you let others know at the table? Would you let them know who?

What if you knew your purpose for life and you knew this had to happen for your purpose to get accomplished? What if you knew your purpose for life and without this happening you couldn’t accomplish it? What if this betrayal was necessary to get you into the right place at the right time to accomplish the work you have to do?

Could you forgive them? Could you go through with it? Could you allow God’s greater plan to rule over your natural human tendencies or responses?

How would you respond if they were about to leave the party to execute the betrayal? How would you act if they were walking out the door to betray you and you knew it?

This is the story of the Last Supper.

One of You Will Betray Me

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

John 13:21-30

Jesus knew. It wasn’t a surprise to Him. He knew His purpose. He knew the ultimate plan. Through this last supper experience God gave us a new covenant that speaks to Jesus’ sacrifice and the power over death, the power over sin, and the power of forgiveness that reconciles us back to God.

Today’s reading had a big impact on art, it inspired Leonardo da Vinci to paint The Last Supper which captures the moment of Jesus’ reveal that someone was going to betray Him. The moment when everyone starts to try and figure out who it would be. What an emotional experience that would have been for His group of closest friends to hear such a thing. The grief. The sadness. The rage. The anger. The love. Could you imagine…

Jan 25th - John 13_21-30 - The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Do you realize the importance of the power of forgiveness? Do you realize that without forgiveness we give the devil a foothold into our lives that will create bitterness, depression, anger, frustration, or worse? Do you realize that forgiveness is just as much about yourself and freedom as it is about them? Do you realize that if you don’t forgive them that it ends up being like drinking poison and expecting it to impact the other person? Do you have a story about how forgiveness made a way? Do you have a story about when you forgave and it created freedom? Do you have a story where you resisted forgiveness and it caused pain and suffering? Have you learned the lesson and now can live it out? Yes you will get update even angry but we need to not allow our emotions to cause us to miss the mark but rather turn to God, forgive the person and give it into God’s hands to take care of. The battle belongs to the Lord! Vengeance is the Lord’s! So we need to be obedient and give it over to Him! We don’t look to see how they will respond and then forgive them, we need to forgive them first and let God take care of the rest – I had to relearn this last year and am glad I was willing to give it up and over to God rather than allow bitterness to take root.

Here is a video of me sharing a story about the first time I learned the hard way the power of forgiveness and it has transformed my life ever since. I share it so that others don’t need to go through it and can learn through my troubles and trials. Hurts a lot less when you learn from others rather than needing to walk through it on your own.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for everything that will be in it. I thank You Lord that nothing surprises You and that no matter what comes my way, it can only get to me if it is something that You allow and that will help me to draw me closer to You and give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Lord as I have told many, I would never have asked to go through this betrayal but having gone through it and the lessons I learned and the people I have been able to share with and speak life into and over because of it, I wouldn’t want to give it up. Lord, You know the beginning from the end and so I lean on You for my wisdom and discernment. I turn to You daily for I know Your Word never returns void. I seek Your plan and Your will so that no matter what comes my way, I can stand firm on the rock of Jesus Christ and I can lean on You rather than my own understandings for I know I can trust You. When trouble comes my way, I can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! When I face trials of many kinds, I can consider it pure joy because I know that it is building my faith through perseverance and when it has finished its work, I will be complete and lacking nothing! So Lord, thank You for Your Word and for the truth that is speaks into my life! I gift this day into Your hands for You are my strength – the joy of the Lord is my strength – and so I lean not on my understanding but rather lean on You and trust in You no matter what comes my way. I lift all this up in Jesus’ name so that in and through You, my life, and this day You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

It’s not over till God says it is over! The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 24th)

Ever felt like you were getting to the end of your rope? Ever felt like you were near the breaking point? Ever felt like things were getting to be too much? Ever felt like it was the end?

But then discovered that it wasn’t! God intervened and things changed? God spoke into your life and things turned around? God stepped in and helped you through it?

I have so many stories of my own like when I was deceived and started a downward spiral. Or when I was being called to step into a role that felt and looked like it would be too big for me. Or when a group looked to want to try and sabotage my career.

God stepped in and taught me to forgive! God stepped in and showed me that if He calls me to it that He will get me through it! God helped me to forgive first and move forward and then to begin the journey of getting out of the boat I had been working in for nearly 20 years. There are many stories throughout this blog, a few others can be read here.

It’s not over till God says it is over! When He says it is over it usually means there is something new ahead of you! Other times He is able to birth something new into the situation! So don’t lose hope! So don’t give up! So don’t give in to the lies of the devil! Put your trust in God! Lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God! As we do that we can be overcomers through Jesus as He shared to give us hope because He has overcome the world! Sometimes they are trials to helps us grow stronger in our faith and able to give a testimony to others who need to receive a word of encouragement. So we don’t have to be downcast because we can put our trust in God! We don’t have to give up because we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds!

Imagine being Lazarus… Imagine being Mary… Imagine being Martha…

Today’s reading comes from John 1 and speaks to the story of Lazarus

The Death of Lazarus

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night,he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them,“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death,but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

–from John 11:1-16

Everyone thought it was over! Everyone thought that Lazarus was dead! People were feeling that it was hopeless! God’s timing is perfect! God’s ways are not our ways but rather they are higher than our ways and better than our ways! Reading the rest of the chapter we see how Jesus comforted the others in their grief, He wept with them, He demonstrated His power to resurrect and heal, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and through Him we can return to and be reconciled to the Father!

So don’t lose hope because sticking with God and pressing on while standing on the Rock of Jesus Christ, we can live lives that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory, like the story of Lazarus did! We need to share our testimonies that others may learn and hear of the power of Jesus to heal, to restore, to forgive, to reconcile, … We do not need to fear what is ahead of us, rather we can believe that Jesus will be there in our moment of need and that He has gone before us preparing in advance the good works He has for us to do!

Today’s reading also imapcted the world of the arts… The raising of Lazarus by Rembrandt…

Jan 24th - John 11_1-16 - The_Raising_of_Lazarus by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the truth that comes from seeking Your Word and Your face daily. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that You have given me milestones or landmarks or road markers to help me to remember what You have already done so that I don’t lose hope for what You are about to do. I may not know what today will hold but I do know that my hope and my trust are in You! I know that my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ blood and righteousness! I know that I wil look to live out my faith actively and that my works will be from the overflow of the Spirit that I may produce fruit that will bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory! Help me today Lord to see beyond the fog and take hold of my next steps. Help me today Lord to know what to do and what to say in order to bring You the praise, the honor, and the glory. Help me Lord to live as a living sacrifice for You that is pleasing so that I can finish the race strong and get to hear You say “well done my good and faithful servant”. I ask all this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Thanks to Jesus, we know that the best is yet to come. The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 23rd)

Thanks to Jesus who gave His all in order to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way and to bridge the divide that required more than we could have ever done in our own strength, power, or ability, there is a way into heaven. He let us know that He is going ahead of to prepare a place for us! He let us know that it is only through Him that we can get there for He is the way, the truth, and the life! We know that His plan for us is good so that we can have a hope and a future! We know that He didn’t come to condemn the world but rather that through Him the world would be saved! We know that He had conquered the grave and the victory has been won! God’s plan wasn’t that we would just wander but that we would have wisdom and direction through the Holy Spirit and His Word! Will you wait upon the Lord so that He can renew your strength? Will you wait upon the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide? God doesn’t want you to go through life alone and wants to walk through this life with you! The Holy Spirit will help you! Learn to know His voice! Learn to listen and hear the still quiet voice! Learn to hear and obey God’s direction in all situations!

Today’s reading comes from Luke 24 and speaks to Jesus’ ascension…

The Ascension

50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

–from Luke 24:50-53

We see that this had an impact on the world of arts in iconography and appears in many churches and artwork around the world.

Jan 23 - Luke 24_50-53 - Iconography - The Ascension of Christ

It also impacted the name of the chapel built on the Mount of Olives.

Jan 23 - Luke 24_50-53 - The Chapel of the Ascension - Mount of Olives

There is a stone at the site that people believe was a footprint from where and when Jesus ascended into heaven.

Jan 23 - Luke 24_50-53 - Place where people believe Jesus ascended into heaven - footprint

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for this opportunity to meditate on Jesus and His ascension into Heaven where He sits at Your right hand interceding for us who believe. Lord, I thank You that You love us so much that You sent Jesus to make a way. Lord, I thank You that You didn’t want us to be alone after Jesus’ ascension and so sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and our guide. Lord, I thank You that this is the day that You made and purposed and so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord, it may not be easy but I can hold tight to You for You are my strength and Your Word that tells me that I can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world and so we can be overcomers too. I hold tight to You through the trials and press onward through them so that I can consider it pure joy knowing that as I persevere my faith is built up and strengthens and that in the end it will allow me to be complete and lacking nothing. Lord, I give this day into Your hands and lean on You. No matter what comes my way, my hope and trust are in You. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness that paid it all that I can be reconciled to You. I give this up to You praying that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Are you ready? Do you believe? Will you go? Will you testify? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 22nd)

Are you ready? Have you received Jesus and been given power? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you trust Him? Even in the midst of challenges, trials, or troubles will you keep your hope and trust in Him? Will you allow your faith to be strengthened through them and hold even tighter to Jesus? Will you share the Good News of God? Will you testify to all that God has done in and through you? Will you testify of all that you have seen God do around you? There is victory when we take hold of the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of the lamb, and we share the testimonies of our life — some put it as by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony is how we overcome! So don’t lose hope! Don’t fight against others who also believe but may not be part of your group or your team but rather let’s take hold of the truth and keep our focus on God! It’s not about who is greatest or who is the best or who is first among us but rather it is all about glorifying God through our words, our actions, and our lives! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s make time to spend it with Him and let’s live out our lives in a way that will give God the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s testify to Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the world, and our Lord! Let’s share of the good things He has done, He is doing, and He will do!

Today’s reading speaks of great things in Luke 9.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag,nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed,because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9 Herod said,“John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them,“You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist.But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying,“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him,Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son,for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus,knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him,because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

–from Luke 9

Do you realize the impact on the arts through today’s reading? Do you realize the impact on the world through today’s reading? Have you ever seen or heard of the Transfiguration  by Raphael?

Jan 22 - Luke 9 - Transfiguration by Raphael - showing Jesus with the prophets Moses and Elijah and the apostles

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the incredible things that You have allowed for me to read, see, hear, and experience. You are so amazing and to even have called and asked me to start this blog back in 2005 so that I could capture what was going on over that time is amazing to me too. You aren’t out there somewhere but rather You are with us and You speak into our lives and lead us and guide us through Your Word and Your Spirit. My life has been touched and I know that being sensitive and obedient to the still quiet voice is important because then no matter what situation comes my way I can pause and receive wisdom, discernment, and direction. We need to know Your voice Lord and be ready to respond to Your instruction. Help me Lord as I prepare for this day, a day of new beginnings so that in and through it all Lord You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to share Your love and the hope of Jesus that is in me with those around me so they too may receive the joy of the Lord which is my strength – that even in my times in the valley I would and they will know that I am tying myself to You as my rock, my fortress, and my strength. I give this day up into Your hands in hopes that it will give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Who does God say you are? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 21st)

Do you remember life before you had that encounter with God? Do you remember who you were then? Do you remember the transformation that took place when you realized that it was all about having a relationship with Him? Do you remember the difference it made in your life to realize it was more than just ritual and routine but was all about having an intimate relationship with God through Jesus? Do you remember how the old faded or is fading away? Do you remember the newness of life that has begun? Do you remember that sense of new beginning? Do you remember those old things that were keeping you from becoming all God desires and has planned for you fading away and the new things that have started to appear? Do take hold of the fruits of the Spirit that have started to produce?

Who does God say you are? A child of God! A son or daughter? A husband or wife? A father or mother? A servant leader? …

I have moments throughout my life where God has called me to be more that what I thought I could be. He called me to be a good husband and father. He called me to step up and be part of the leadership of my community. He called me to step up and lead the community. He called me to get involved in the lives of kids. He called me to make a difference in the lives of kids. He called me to go to camps. He called me to lead a camp. He called me to get involved in His church. He called me to step up and be a servant leader in my church.  He called me to a good employee and lead.

I have stories about how I resisted those for a time because it felt so much bigger than myself like the time when I resisted to the point of getting the ultimatum of obeying or being nothing. I have learned that if God calls me to it, He will get me through it! Nothing is too big for God and so I need to not lean on my own understanding but rather in all my ways acknowledge Him and He will be my strength. I need to tie up to Him when I am feeling weak and allow His strength which is more than enough to be what helps me get in and get through. When He called me to become president of the homeowners association, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into serving in worship and arts, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to act, I had to lean on Him! When He called me into men’s leadership, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a deacon on the church board, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for a camp for foster teens, I had to lean on Him! When He called me to be a director for the content management system at work, I had to lean on Him!

God has a plan and God has a purpose for each of us! God takes us right where are loving us unconditionally and to the fullest amount. God doesn’t want us to stay where we were but He has plans and dreams for our lives that can feel frightening at times because they are so much more than we could have ever asked or imagined. His ways are not our ways, His ways are bigger and better. So we need to lean not on our own understanding but rather in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our path straight! Do limit yourself because of the lies of the devil! The devil is real and He is trying to rob you from all God’s blessings by speaking lies that you aren’t this and aren’t than and why would God ever… so resist the devil’s lies and he will flee and instead run to God, call out to God, trust in the Lord with all your strength, your mind, all your heart and soul! Stay close to God! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you!

So take time and seek God! Take time and read God’s Word! Take time and be with God’s church! Take time and consider what God has planned for you! This is the day that the Lord has made! God didn’t want to leave you where you were but His plan through Jesus is to give you a hope and a future! God wants to walk with you into all the amazing plans He has for your life! When you start to feel weak or afraid, draw closer to God, lean on Him more because in our weakness, His strength is revealed! All things are possible for those who believe!

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 16:18 …

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

–from Matthew 16:18

Do you realize how this impacted the world of art? Have you been to St. Peter’s Basilica? Have you consider the impact of Jesus’ words to Peter and how it impacted the world? Have you seen how these words have impact the world of art done by Michelangelo? Ever seen such incredible pictures from the Basilica?

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Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that You aren’t done with me yet and that I am still clay being molded into the person You desire for me to be. I thank You Lord that You aren’t limited by my abilities but are able to take what I have and use it for Your glory. I thank You Lord that Your plans for me are good. I thank You Lord for Jesus who came and made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way. I thank You Lord that thanks to Your plans I have a hope and a future. Lord, grant me wisdom for today. Lord, help me when I get stuck or feel weak to hold on tighter to You. Help me to be like David who when he was so drained, he strengthened himself in you! Nothing is impossible with You Lord and so I put all my hope and trust in You so that in and through my life You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

True justice and mercy…The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 20th)

The Bible has had such an incredible impact on the world. God has provided us with an instruction manual on how to live lives that can be blessed. God has provided us with direction into how we should be treating one another. Take a look around at what is taking place and can you find true justice taking place in all areas of society? Consider when you are walking around and if true kindness and mercy are being poured out on the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the transients. The lady standing on the street looking for help…how did you respond? Do you ignore her? Do you engage her? Do you walk passed her? Do you look for a way to help her? Do you respond with a humbleness that gives her a sense of being cared for by pouring out kindness and mercy? Ever seen those people who say things that hurt or criticize others unfairly? Ever seen those who being helpful and encouraging speak out and discourage people who are already feeling down? Imagine a poor person trying to find a way to make ends meet for their family because they lost their job. Imagine a widow who lost her husband and now doesn’t know how she will be able to continue. Imagine children who have lost their parents by no action of their own and find themselves alone. Don’t judge them because you don’t know how they got their or what has happened in order to get them there. Don’t ignore them them and think they will just go away. Let’s come with hearts of mercy! Let’s come with an attitude of kindness! Let’s step out of our comfort zone in order to help those in need! Let’s be salt and light into this world and allow Jesus to work in and through us in order to make a difference in the world around us. Do you realize that some of these people are in your neighborhood? Do you realize that some of these people are in your school? Do you realize that some of these people are in your workplace? Do you realize that some of these people are in your church? Don’t discourage them! Don’t denigrate them! Don’t hit them while they are down but come alongside them and help them up! Let’s not look down on them and give them a handout but rather let’s love them with kindness and mercy and give them a hand up! Let’s look to find ways that will help them! Let’s be encouragers – being Jesus with skin on to them! Let’s be hope in the midst of their hopelessness! Let’s be love when they are feeling unlovable! Let’s look for ways to ensure true justice and giving kindness and mercy! Will you make time to visit the widows and the orphans? Will you decide to love on the unlovable? Will you help the desperate? Will you make a difference in the world around you?

It’s a matter of the heart! Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you make God your treasure? Will God be the one you worship? Others will know what is in your heart because from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks! We can only serve one master…so whom shall you serve? As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! So will you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God by spending time daily in the Bible? Will you make it so that what comes out of your mouth is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Soften your heart so that you will walk out this life aligned with God! Ask God to create a new heart in you! Leave the old ways behind and start fresh and new in His ways! Turn back to God and allow Him to make all things new through accepting Jesus into your heart!

Today’s reading from Zechariah 7 speaks on this very topic and continues in our reading from the  Global Impact Bible on the theme of The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts.

A Call for Justice and Mercy

7 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. 2 Now the people of Bethel hadsent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,3 saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

4 Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: 5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? 6 And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? 7 Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”

8 And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts. 13 “As I2 called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the LORD of hosts, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate.”

— Zechariah 7

Have you been able to go and see the Sistine chapel? While you were there did you get to see the fresco of Zechariah painted by Michelangelo?  Did you realize where it came from? Did you consider who he was and his role in the lives of the people of Israel?

Jan 20 - Zechariah 7 - ARTS - fresco painted by Michaelangelo of Zechariah in the Sistine Chapel

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day and for what You have planned. I thank You Lord for Your Word that never returns void and is able to speak life in love to us, over us, and through us. I thank You Lord that Your Word never returns void and that today You bring to mind the people who are in need. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear, so that I can respond in a way that will glorify You and allow me to be Your hands extended to give a hand up, Your arms extended to embrace and let them know that they are loved, Your presence so that they know that they are not alone! Lord, thank You for camps where Your love can be shared and shown through volunteers who have nothing to gain but to pour out love, hope, and mercy into the lives of campers who by no fault of their own are apart from their parents and living as orphans. Lord, help me I pray to be a servant leader! Help me Lord to be a good steward! Help me Lord to exalt You in all that I do and all that I am so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to make it an everyday thing! Help me Lord to make it an every hour thing where I can speak hope, life, love into the world around me and that people will see You working in and through me for Your glory so that people may turn back to You and be restored and reconciled to You through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give all this into Your hands so that You will be exalted and lifted up all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.