By the time you read this I will be flying in a big aluminum tube to Dallas Fort Worth. I'm taking the teacher training to be able to teach the Understanding Dreams and Visions course taught by Streams Ministries. I'm really looking forward to the class, but if it's anything like the teacher training for The Art of Hearing God, I know I'll return home fried, filled up and content.
Speaking of the Art of Hearing God, in a few short weeks I head to Plains MT to teach the course with Rob. Looking forward to that as well! In the mean time, have a great week, I've scheduled some blogs to pop up while I'm away. Hope you enjoy them.
Chris and I drove to Port Townsend today to deliver Illumination for the show. We took the ferry out of Edmonds into Clinton then drove up to Port Townsend. The wind on the water was creating whitecaps, Chris said I looked like Cousin It. Judge for yourself.
We had some time before we delivered the piece so we went to Fort Warden. Chris threw the ball for Moo, got her good and tired and I took pictures. Really pleased with many of the shots I took today. The light was incredible and the sky was big. Here's a teaser but the rest will have to wait till I get back. I'll let you know when I post them to my photostream. In the mean time, have a great week.
Sharing an insight a friend had while in Thailand with you... she is the one who wrote about the butterfly several weeks back. Be encouraged. I had an awesome experience today. I went running in the pouring rain along the riverside, the Burmese mountains to my right and the Thailand mountains to my left. The rain was heavy but refreshing, the dark green mountain tops had a thick mist around them. I was looking at Burma and stopped in my tracks. I stood looking thru the rain into the jungle thinking of all that I had just seen and learned of what happens behind the cover of the thick trees and thought “Lord, please don’t call me there” Then this song came on my headphones “in the fire” is the only words I remember. At that moment I felt You saying In the fire you will find Me… the story of Meshack, Shadrack and the other guy came alive to me. I could almost see the flames craving to incinerate my flesh to ashes, burning hotter the longer they waited to throw me in. Those men denied the fear that pumped thru their veins and did not bend their knee to it. They walked into that fire fueled by their deep love for the truth and majesty of God. It was in the fire God stood beside them. As the song played on, my mind was filled with phrases, pictures, stories… God will always encourage us, speak to us, hope for us but to encounter Him, to have Him walk with you in the fire, to experience His presence like never before, you have to step into the fire… my mind can't comprehend it. Refining fire. Fire has so many amazing purposes when thought of in connection with Gods will. I am becoming fascinated with it. We are to go into the fire. God is always in the thick of the fight and He wants us near to Him. Fire sets fire to everything it touches. You and I were baptized with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. Fire is contagious, fire is engulfing, it is powerful, fierce, intense. The very word beings forth an emotion. Someone said to be on fire is a person of passion, action, and conviction. Knowing we are the fire of the world, the light of the world is incredibly freeing for someone like me who despises the boring, rigid life religion tries to constrict people to. God always calls us into the fire to fully experience Him, to be purified-as fire purifies gold., and to be so engulfed in it that we emerge a passionate flame that burns brightly in the darkest night, a flame so intense it sets fire to everything it touches. You in Christ are free to live on fire. Fire is pure and fierce, darkness cannot contain it or diminish it. You are to be the same in the world, deeply rooted and so filled with God that worldly ways and desires do not extinguish who you are in God, instead your life, if you fuel the fire of God, will captivate others and dance against the deepest darkness. To know that God has set us free, to live out loud our passions burning inside is exhilarating. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of shadow and death, a light has dawned” Isa 9.2 Our very life is meant to shine into others darkness, we are to live a life that showers hope. You have the potential to shine a light on those sitting in deaths shadows. “let your light shine before others” Mt 5.16 Realizing that this fire that God sets to our life is not for us alone is sombering (I don’t think sombering is a word but it is now) yet exciting. We carry this responsibility to keep the oil replenishing our fire so that we will have the opportunity to provide a saving light “to set those in darkness free” Is 42. I’ve always been drawn to that verse that says to set the captives free, and we can do that by living out loud, passionate, and fully alive… Wow, what opportunity. I hope our lives of freedom in Jesus and passion will set free those living with their light constricted under a bowl of religious bull to shine and those who don’t even know any light. We can save people and pierce satan's darkness by filling our lamp stand with the oil of His presence. The voice of the Lord calls to each of us that are willing to be set on fire “whom shall I send and who will go for us” I hope you answer as Isaiah did “Here am I, send me” (6:8) and when step into His fire you will emerge refined, purified, burning, and contagious. You will come forth as gold and open your eyes to these words “Arise, shine for your light is come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you… the gentiles shall come to your light and the kings to the brightness of your rising” Isaiah 60.1,3
May you experience His closeness as you walk through your own refining fires.
So today I answered three "art calls" the City of Lynnwood has put out. One is for art work to hang at the library sometime during 2010 and the other two are for two different time periods art will be hanging at the Convention Center. As there were no guidelines I had a difficult time pulling out 30 pictures to submit, but got it all done and dropped off the disc today. This Heron is one of the photos I selected.
This weekend we deliver "Illumination" to the Art Port Townsend event. If you are local the exhibit is open to the public from 12-5 October 2nd - November 1st, but closed Tuesday and Wednesday. The address is 2409 Jefferson Street Port Townsend, WA.
Found a new blog to follow today: Poetic Infusions by Michell Perry. I pulled the image above from her blog, it's not just poetry but also some amazing art...
Michelle has just published a book about her life as a missionary in Sudan. You can download and read the first chapter here. As she comments, it's not about life as a missionary but rather a life of learning to love. This is a book I'm gonna enjoy...
I had the pleasure of meeting a friend of a friend whom I have heard so much about... and I have made her my friend now as well. She has a beautiful stylized tattoo behind her right ear - it's a butterfly that is on fire. She told me the story behind the tattoo, and then sent me the written version with all the details. There are two parts to the story, lessons she learned while in Thailand by herself. She has given me permission to share it with you, so for today's Faith Building Friday here is part one, her Butterfly story:
I was eating my rice for the 9th day in a row here on the Burma border. I'm so sick of rice I am feeding the chickens with it. A beautiful orange and brown butterfly flew next to me and sat right beside me on top of a jar. Its wings were open facing me and we sat in silence for awhile as I thought how strange it was that it was so close to me finally I broke the silence, said hello and told it how Johnny had told me this Thailand journey was my “becoming a butterfly trip” it started moving its wings slowly open and close. Then it shut them completely and I saw the outside of the wings were dull, they looked like dirt, an obvious design of Gods for it's protection. I asked it if it was hard to go from a caterpillar to a butterfly. As I asked it that question I remembered a book I had borrowed from a monk in Phuket, I had just read the night before where it mentioned this very thing.
An earthbound caterpillar turns into a beautiful winged creature with virtually no resemblance to its earlier form. During the metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult, all the caterpillars organs are melted, liquefied, providing energy for the next stage of development. Nothing remains of its earlier form. Pg 90Self transformation thru music-Crandoll
The butterfly opened its wings and faced me. I tried to imagine this creature so graceful and beautiful as a once liquefied, awkward worm. I breathed a sigh of relief - there is hope for me. We sat again in silence, me drawing encouragement from her transformation. A beautiful lesson was taught to me without words, hope was breathed into me without movement. I continued to watch her and I saw how when she kept her wings closed tightly she was dull, boring, blended in with her surroundings. She was safe that way but something startled her and she opened her wings, displaying the intricate graceful design God had painted on her by His own hand during her time of transformation in the cocoon, and she took flight.
Another lesson in silence from my butterfly - Open up. Display Gods handiwork in your life. Take flight. She was gone but the lesson continued… She had been given wings but had to be constricted in the cocoon for God to hold her still so her growth would be complete and in her stillness He would paint her vibrant, colorful wings of triumph, her symbol and banner to carry and remind all that an awkward lowly worm can take flight on wings of majestic beauty if only it surrenders to the Creators plan.
May her story encourage you. May you rest in His hands as He remakes you and may you Open up and display your glory!
It's been a couple of days since I picked up the mail so when I opened the mailbox it was FULL. After sifting through it, and tossing out about 95% I found that I had received a note from Art Port Townsend. Several weeks ago I had submitted, last minute, three of my photos for their upcoming art show. Today's letter notified me that one of my entries was selected for exhibition. It's shown here for you to enjoy. I've titled it "Illumination".
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