Sunday, April 29, 2007

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?.....

To Get To the Rusty Found Object On the Other Side!

This little chicken just had to come home with me from the flea market.

He sat silently waiting by my computer for a few months, but I knew what he wanted.....

He had a fondness for shiny things, but not too shiny...

Tin cookie cutter, backed by etched brass and hand riveted, cuckoo clock chain, rusty ball chain, vintage cloth tape measure, antique adding machine springs, vintage glass tube beads, vintage glass tag, vintage bus token, vintage key, ribbon.

This little chicky was just for fun, but a verse keeps going through my mind.

"Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I have longed to gather you as a hen gathers her chicks, but you were not willing."

This isn't the entire verse, but the jist of it. The Savior is speaking of the jewish nation, but tells me that I am adopted into his family as I have put my faith in Him. My breath catches in my throat at the thought that the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, longed for me even before I put my trust in Him!

And He longs for you as well!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beer Lahai Roi

#5 in my "Garments of Praise" series, this piece has been created from the end cap of an early 1920s piano roll, an old MOP button with thread still attached, glass vial, beads, antique fabric, tintype, my trusty antique cuckoo clock chain, steel & brass wire, and brass sheet metal.

The piece is titled "Beer Lahai Roi" which means "well of the Living One who sees me".

I've decided to dedicate it to another blogger, Natalie, from "Life is a Collage" after reading of her sadness over the way a few kids have been treating her son. She shares with her readers the heart of a mother who is unable to prevent an injustice in her child's life and the true broken heart she feels and desire to protect him from this pain.

"Beer Lahai Roi" comes from the 16th chapter of Genesis after Hagar, the pregnant servant of Abraham, runs away from Sarai, Abrahams wife, who has been mistreating her. I can imagine the injustice she is feeling and the desire to protect her unborn child from what she must have known in her heart would be a painful future for him as an illegitimate child. She knows she is not equal to Sarai, she is just a servant, a nobody. How many times did she feel that her life didn't matter to anybody? How often did she feel invisible, overlooked, taken for granted?

As Hagar lays by a well God comes to her and encourages her to go back. He gives her a blessing and she names the place of the encounter "Beer Lahai Roi" or "Well of the living one who sees me". She must have felt His love that day, as an unmarried servant on the run, naming Him "the God who sees me" speaks of a woman who felt invisible, who's feelings did not matter, who could not prevent an injustice. But she knew she mattered to the one who matters the most, the living God and He let her know that her pain was not overlooked by Him. She had finally felt "seen".

"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." John 4:10

"God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them" Acts 15:8

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

"She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me" Genesis 16:13

Thank-you Lord, as a wife, a mother, a step-mother, there are so many days when I feel that nobody really sees me. I am truly grateful that you really are the God who sees me.

Early in the morning... I will celebrate your light

I've been reflecting on this piece and what God might be saying to me through it all week, and as promised I am sharing with you where He has led me.

It may seem strange to you that I feel God is speaking to me in this way, but I don't find it strange at all. God is everywhere and in everything. He has designed each of us so uniquely and when we seek Him with all of our hearts, the Bible promises we will find Him. Being able to create art is a gift from God, the ultimate creator, and to use that gift to glorify Him and to allow myself to be drawn closer to Him is my gift to Him in return.

I think God knows I am a visual or "hands on" learner. I read His word, which is good, but in order for it to stick I have to really experience His word. I love when He allows me to do this through art.

There are times when I know from the point of conception what God is speaking to me as I work on a piece, other times He begins to whisper to me as I am putting together the finishing touches. Sometimes as I step back and look at something that I've just finished His word flashes across the lense of my eye and I have an AHA! sort of moment, and then there are times when God wants me to slow down and think about something and He prompts me with a thought over and over again.

This time that thought was in the form of a song, some of you may recognize the line from "God of Wonders" by Caedmons Call:

"Early in the morning, I will celebrate the light"

At some point I realized it wasn't just a song I couldn't get out of my head, it was important and I should pay attention. I kept thinking about the line "Early in the morning" and then my thoughts would turn to the number 6 on the necklace, same as the 6 am flashing on my alarm clock each morning as I smack it into submission and snuggle deeper into my blankets.

I reject the idea as just plain silly at first, yeah right, the 6 is the time God wants me to get out of bed in the morning. Very funny. Really meaningful, now even I think I am crazy!

But then he brought me to this verse in the book of Mark: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

And then this in Luke: "and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple."

And I finally had to resign myself to the fact that, yes, He wants me to get my butt out of bed in the morning and really be with Him before I start my day. No more of this glancing through a paragraph or two as I dry my hair before I leave for work and then complaining about how empty I feel by the time I get home. hmmmmmmm....

At least one reader, Theresa of Maggie Grace Creates, took me up on my challenge to find out what God might be saying to her and this is what she wrote: "I immediately thought Joshua 6 (6th book 6th chapter) so I went and looked it up. I am struggling with a wall at work, and this is the story of joshua taking over jerico with only quiet action and God's guidance. Just the message I needed today."

Thank-you Theresa! Thinking of the book of Joshua made me think of the verse "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15. I also thought of Rahab, the prostitute, who's life was spared when Jericho was handed over to the Isralites. The army knew not to harm her or her family because of a scarlet ribbon she had tied in her window. Placing that ribbon in the window took great courage for this woman, in effect she was saying "Today I am choosing a different life, today I choose to serve the Lord".

Looking again at the piece I made, I see the pink glass beads as a symbol of that scarlet rope in the window and my own proclamation to serve the Lord. I love how the wire around the lower tear shaped bead almost has the appearance of being a crown of thorns.

Lord, today I choose to come back to you. Thank-you for reminding me of your great love through Jesus sacrifice on the cross, and thank-you that as I come to you early in the morning you meet me with your love and stay with me throughout the day.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A work in progress

A work in progress this week. The color is a bit off in this picture. I've worked this pendant from a large green antique optical lense. I have no idea why the glass is green. Somebody let me know if you have any insight on this.

The other items include brass hardware from a drawer pull, antique adding maching key, vintage dusty rose fabric, and glass beads from a generous (and talented) Deryn Mentock of Something Sublime.

I am still waiting for the inspiration for the chain to come. This will be the newest edition in my "Garments of Praise" series. What does the 6 mean? There is a verse there, I've been praying for God to show me.

His answer? "Get in the word and find out"

Okay Lord, I hear you. I've been lax about it lately and it shows. I pray for His guidance, I pray for His wisdom. I pray that He will help me guard my tongue during the day and fill me with his Spirit. But I hit the snooze button 2 more times and suddenly I am rushing out the door to work in the morning feeling dry and wondering why I can't feel my Lords presence like I used to.

Thank-You Lord, for being near to me, even when I have pulled away from you.

Stay tuned, I'll let you know when I've allowed Him to open my eyes to the verse. Better yet, dive into the word with me and find out what He is saying to you.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

How Marvelous! How Wonderful!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

At the Good Friday service we sang the old hymn "How Marvelous! How Wonderful!" it is playing over and over in my head as I wake to this Easter morning.

How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my saviors love for me.

John 3:16 - For God SO LOVED the world, He gave His only Son. That whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.