Wednesday, December 30, 2015

If you were wondering

Late last night I was writing a post only to have problems with my keyboard and have sticking keys. I couldn't use "enter" or "shift" and so I just tried to get some ideas down and save it, only to accidently post it. I removed the post, but if you are wondering what happened, that was the story behind the very rough, weird post!

Where Will I Put Him?

Like most we are putting away the Christmas things. Finding the spaces for the new toys. Putting the gadgets in the tool boxes, etc. Hauling the boxes back out to put the Christmas decorations away.

At this time of year I find myself thinking about where I am going to put Him.

The greatest gift I have been given is that of my Savior.

But I don't want to put Him away with the decorations.

And I don't want Him on a shelf collecting dust.

He doesn't belong in the toy box or tool box.

He belongs in my heart and in my actions, my words and my love.

We go to a significant amount of trouble to choose just the right gifts for those we love. After they are received the recipient needs to find the right home/use for it.

So do I.

This year I want to remember the gift I have been given and keep it out where I can share with others like that amazing box of chocolate, or warm someone like those soft blankets, heal like the first aid kit, expand thinking like the classic book.

When I think of my Heavenly Father and the precious gift He gave us, carefully chosen and painfully yet graciously given, I know He deserves a very special place. A place that I can give.

This year, I don't want to put Him anywhere except for the heart of me. I want to be who He wants me to be. I want to help who He wants me to help. I want to give up all my foolish and vain ambitions and recognize what He made me for.

Where will you put your gift?

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Artist

This Art masterpiece class I took is still rolling around in my brain. (It's ok, there's not much up there that can get hurt)
There was one class that disturbed me deeply.
Again, we were talking about pieces and the artists that created them.
We started looking at and talking about a Rembrandt.
One piece, "The Man With the Golden Helmet" was typical of his style and the way he used light and dark and how he captured the face.
Then the teacher said that the art world was rocked in 1985 when it was discovered that Rembrandt didn't paint this piece.
Apparently one of his students did.

Was it still a masterpiece?

Was it still great?

It really got me thinking. Is a masterpiece a masterpiece only because of who created it? Or is it a masterpiece because of what was created?

In looking into art history it appears that the person who created it is of the utmost importance and that the actual piece itself may or may not be of the greatest quality or of significance in what was accomplished. Back several hundred years ago, a big name was what collectors clamored for and is still true today.

So if something is a masterpiece, not because of what it is, but rather because of who created it, what can that tell us about ourselves?

We are created by the Master. We may not think much of who we are. Maybe we are plain and unknown. But that doesn't matter, because we were created by God.

Maybe we are complex, or ugly, or brash, or distorted, or confusing. It doesn't matter! We were made by God!

Have you looked at "great art"? It is literally all over the place!! Some pieces are pretty, some are loud, some are just plain ugly. Some are huge, some are tiny. They can be noisy, weird, tiring, political, spiritual, fresh, intriguing, restful, scary, etc.

The bottom line is, we are all created by the Master Artist. We are worth a lot simply because of Who created us. Can we begin to believe that the person we see in the mirror is a masterpiece? If not, is it because we aren't sure Who created us? Is it because we are too busy comparing who we are to another totally different piece?

Did you know that even the "great" artists often did sketches first, or painted and repainted pieces until they felt they were "right"? They didn't just sit down at a canvas throw some paint on, step back and say viola, (well ok, maybe Jackson Pollock did)  at least not all the time. Often, they painted, stepped back, went back to it and painted over it.

If we could all accept that we are a work created by a Master, He has a sketch in mind. He can work with what is on the canvas and make it the masterpiece he intended it to be. Then could we look around us at others and see that as well?

Often it is easier to see the work of the Master in others and not so much in ourselves. And too often we forget that we are a work in progress. We are not a "perfect" in progress, just a work in progress. Which is work. We know that work requires planning, patience, sweat, time, etc. He isn't done with us yet.

Don't underestimate the Artist! He is the Master Artist.  He knows what He is doing even if we are too close to see it clearly!

The more we get to know the Artist, the better we can understand what He is trying to create in us.

I will never forget a time in my life when we were going through a particularly big challenge and the unsaid question from friends seemed to be, "Is your faith in the right place? Maybe this wouldn't be happening to you if you didn't have the faith you have." The funny thing was that my faith couldn't have been any stronger right then because I knew absolutely that it was only because of God that we were making it through. There was no other way.

For me that is an amazing part, just a corner, of the masterpiece He is making out of me.