He is making perfect sense out of a perfectly senseless, messed up life!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Weekend to Talk About – Part 2 – 2012

Even though it is now Tuesday I had some revelations from the Holy Spirit while baking No Sugar Added Oatmeal Cranberry cookies (partially my own recipe). I knew this had to be connected to that writing somehow since it is still on the subject of afflictions. How do we know what God’s definition of healing is? Are these definitions of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge any different than what we might say?

*Proverbs 3: 19, 20 “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.”

I believe that I’m learning more and more that He gives us what we need as His uniquely made individuals:

*Philippians 4:19 “ And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

And, we all know:

*Proverbs 3:5, 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

I was listening to Kutless’ new album “Believer” which is totally wonderful and I find more and more to love about it all the time. There is a song on there that particularly started speaking to me a couple of weeks ago called “Even If” and the lyrics are:
Even If
by Kutless

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come

Written by S. Krippayne and Tony Wood | Produced by Dave Lubben Pirk Music (BMI) | Songs From Exit 71 (ASCAP) admin by Krippayne, Inc. and The Harry Fox Agency 

Will you love Him even if?

May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. Your comments are so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. Also, click on the “Uptweet” button on the above right and share! I pray you will keep coming back. I fully believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Also, please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at juliana.pace@gmail.com. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will may every attempt to refer you to someone for more information. Thanks and may God bless all your days!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Weekend To Talk About Part 1 - 2012

I had been home all week so when Saturday came I was ready to get out and run a few errands. Springtime in Florida is just glorious especially in our area with so much water all around. And to think that my husband told me when I married him that he’d never live in Florida. I thought I’d given up a dream since I grew up visiting here yearly since one of my Grandpa’s lived here. Most of my good childhood memories came from visits here. Not long after we moved here I believe that God showed me the scriptures:

*Psalm 37:4-5
“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.”

And the many glorious days of a Florida Spring are what many of us think are such a worthwhile part of living here.

As I headed down 41 towards the Desoto Bridge over the Manatee River that is the only thing separating our little town of just 12,000 from the swelled tourist season of Bradenton, my heart leaped. I could hardly contain the joy inside from the beauty I saw. Once I got across the bridge I had to stop and take a few photos.

Looking from Bradenton across the bridge to Palmetto!
I went on running the errands of the day, then back home to spend the rest at home doing this and that, all the while I had been thinking about and praying about what to do with this Smash Book that I’d had my hubby pick up for me earlier in the week. Michaels had a one day 50% off coupon so I asked him to stop by on his way home from work and pick this up since I’d seen it days before and thought doing one looked to be intriguing. (My definition of a smash book is a kind of “personal” scrapbook where you “smash” in things that you want to remember.)

 I don’t have enough of any one theme from things I do in life to fill up an entire journal since I’ve started throwing away, recycling, and giving away so much more in the last 16 or so months. For me a favorite theme is always God. I decided to make the Smash book on a theme of my God sightings. Since I’m just an old sentimental fool I decided this was a very creative and fun way to have a remembrance of the ways I see God working in my life and it doesn’t take up much space.

 Of course, being the UNIQUE child of God that I know I am this book just couldn’t be plain or merely entitled “God Sightings” so I thought and prayed and thought and prayed and then it came to me. See what you think of my cover?

And I already gave it a first page full of scriptures about seeing God, along with the one scripture that I think encompasses the entire Christian walk:
*Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will bring them to pass.”

If you pay much attention to me and this blog, you’ll know all that I do with my hands! Although I just love all that God has gifted me with it seems to not come without consequence from overuse. To explain, I’ve started having carpal tunnel symptoms in just the last few days. Perplexing, to say the least, when I know I am so inspired by God to create through my art and writing. And I’m still quite perplexed but God has given me a peace about this. I know that He is working all things out for my good (Romans 8:28) but being the doubting human that I can be, I needed a little extra help with this, along with still praying and taking it one day at a time.

Early Sunday morning I was dreaming and dreaming. I hit the snooze and fell quickly back to sleep, dreaming again. I awoke suddenly to see that I’d overslept by 25 minutes. Thankfully a dream had startled me awake. In the dream, I had gone into church, walked into the sanctuary, and our pastor’s wife was sitting behind the drums just slamming out the beats. In the dream, my mouth fell open and I ran back out of the sanctuary wide awake. (I shared this with several people at church including her and this amazing, emboldened, prophetically gifted woman of God told me to not put it past her – what an amazing testimony she is!) Thank the Lord for sending me an alarm clock!

Then, yesterday morning as I was running out the door with my step-son to church I saw this little book lying on my kitchen table that I don’t read nearly as much as I feel that I should. It crossed my mind to pick it up and take it with me. When I got to church there was just a sweet, sweet anointing from the Holy Spirit over the sanctuary. (I so thank the Lord for His gift of discerning of spirits.) He was keeping me so drawn to Him and the purpose at hand: praying, worshipping, Bible reading and eventual greeting of the brethren into church (which has truly just become my heart on Sunday mornings – fits better than a favorite worn in pair of blue jeans! Thank Him and praise Him for bringing me into so many things that amazingly fit me so well. What a loving, insightful creator we have!)

I got situated in our favorite spot (and has been for several years) in the sanctuary and began to read:

“If you learn to trust Me — really trust Me — with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you.

Dear Jesus
My deepest desire is to trust You with my whole being, but trusting does not come easily to me. I have, however, become more open to accepting adversity as a gift from You. Sometimes I just want relief from my difficulties. At other times I am able to receive them as blessings. Help me to allow my problems to train me in trusting You.

Beloved, it helps to have an eternal perspective if your life on earth were all there is, it might be reasonable to run from adversity and seek a life of pleasure. However, your earthly lifespan is minuscule compared with the Glory that awaits you in heaven. A large part of learning to trust Me is viewing your life through this big picture perspective.

Your openness to accepting adversity as blessing shows that you are indeed learning to trust Me more. Your anticipation of good outcomes in the midst of hard times is a profound form of trust.

Remember that the evil one attacks you continually with burning arrows of accusation. If you use your shield of faith skillfully, you can stop those missiles and extinguish their flames. Even if some of the arrows find their mark and wound you, do not despair, I am the Great Physician. My loving Presence can both heal your wounds and train you to trust Me more. When you are wounded, come close to Me and pay attention to My teaching. As you do so, your faith will be strengthened, enabling you to grow in grace and knowledge of Me — the Lord of Peace. (Gen. 50:20, Eph. 6:36, 2 Peter 3:18)”

Excerpt from “Dear Jesus” by Sarah Young

And, I was in awe! God knows me so well! He is not only my awesome creator but also my best friend who knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it! This fits me to a Tee! I’ve shared that I’ve realized for some time that I had trust issues but I also learned that I trust Him to always clear them up and He ALWAYS does!

I have also believed for some time that I’ve been given a ministry of suffering. May sound awful but it’s really not and it does help me to feel needed in this world. In my insufficiency I am able to call upon the Great Physician.

While watching a TV show last evening I leaked. To explain, I cry so easily at the misfortunes, infirmities, hardships (whatever you want to call it) of others. I shared with my husband who always notices my weeping at the very time it starts why this is.

*2 Corinthians 1:4 “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. “

I have been through so much adversity in my life that I know how so many others feel. And He showed me several years ago that people will come into my path that don’t know Him as I do and will need the comfort that I am able to give ONLY because of Him. One of my closest girlfriends who has been going through quite a bit of health problems would attest to how many times I’ve cried with her. I couldn’t do that if I hadn’t been through so much myself. And, it also helps me to feel so deeply for others since it also causes me to go to God in prayer for them. I can’t stand to not pray for them. And, I always have the fact that His comfort has gotten me through and keeps me going one day at a time. And, because of Him and His promises I know that this time on earth is Only temporary.

An additional thing to note: In listening to the sermon at church yesterday, the pastor shared that we need to have things to help us remember the amazing things that God has done. My “I See God” smash book?

Even more revelation came to me regarding healing and afflictions after this weekend which I will share in a Part 2 of this writing since it is getting so long. 

What a memorable weekend and this blog post is being printed to go into my new Smash book, too!

I have another new song that particularly touched me today.

May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. Your comments are so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. Also, click on the “Uptweet” button on the above right and share! I pray you will keep coming back. I fully believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Also, please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at juliana.pace@gmail.com. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will may every attempt to refer you to someone for more information. Thanks and may God bless all your days!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Tree of Life (Creation's Complexity) Explanation - A Donated Piece

Written - 2007 - Piece donated

This piece is quite dear to me and has been displayed at my Mother’s house since January 6th which marked the end of my very first exhibit as a Mixed – Media Folk artist. The exhibit was “The Blue Briny: Mermaids and More” and was held at the Village of the Arts in Bradenton, Florida.  http://www.artistsguildofmanatee.org/galleries.html)

I received the inspiration for this piece while in bed with CNS Vasculitis
in 2001, before ever thinking about becoming an Artist.

I’ve been crafting since I can remember. I actually sold my first piece for $10.00, when I was 10 years old, when my Grandfather told me that good art should be bought. I remember that vividly! That was a long time ago. I’ve made gifts now and then for others and channeled my creativity into decorating, even into the faux painting of the 90’s. I did a little bit of everything from crocheting, to embroidery, to bead flowers, to mosaics…you name it and I’ve done it. I was also only able to utilize a few hours here and there due to working full-time at the hospital and all the other duties involving a more normal Christian life.

When I became ill, I was told that I could no longer work, but I kept striving to keep busy. When I had the inspiration for this piece, I had no idea what it was supposed to be and where I was supposed to show it, I just knew I was supposed to make it. And, the picture stayed in my mind over the years and I started collecting the items that comprise it, firstly an approximately 80 year old mirror that hung on my mother’s wall and then on my wall for years and lastly the two-part epoxy that seals the piece. I have always liked to redo old pieces…give them new life. Give them another chance on this earth when otherwise they’d be in a dump somewhere.

I moved to Florida in 2005, throwing away my cane in the process. I started doing artwork and selling a few things here and there. Then all of a sudden I was accepted into this exhibit and it was time! So, this is the main piece that I exhibited. It leaned against the wall on a shelf at the Heart’s Desire Gallery in the Village of the Arts.

The meaning of this piece came to me one Saturday morning while working on it, that it was supposed to be my version of “The Tree of Life” and have a parenthetical title, which I was supposed to ask my husband to come up with, that way he’d feel a part of it, too. It was supposed to represent God’s diversity in His creation – that you have to look many times at someone to see every part of them – because we are “fearfully and wonderfully made;” [Psalm 139:14). Because I have always admired someone, who in this world, dares to be who God made them to be!