What do you have to lose?

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New Territory 30x30

Life is full of “in between”.  Ben and Jerry discovered a fortune could be built by putting the “in between” of life into an ice cream flavor.   Chocolate chip cookie dough is the “in between” of a list of ingredients and baked morsels of yumminess.    As a fiber artist, I loved the process that took beautiful fabric and molded it into a piece of art: “in between” the fabric and the fiber art was vision, design, and creative energy that thrilled me.

Scripture is full of “in between”.  In between David the shepherd and David the King was David the musician, the warrior, and the leader.  That is an “in between” that we can read and study.

I am fascinated with the “in betweens” we can’t read about directly.  Consider the “in between” of Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1.  The in between of Moses and Joshua.  The in between of the Wilderness and the Promised Land.

God took Moses to heaven between the Wilderness and the Promised Land.   Before God took him Moses was given prophetic sight to see the fullness of the Promised Land.  It was Joshua however that led the Children of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land.

Here’s the deal.  The skills and faith it took to stand up to Pharaoh and lead two million people through the wilderness for 40 years were not the skills and faith that were required to lead that same group of people across the Jordan, into the Promised Land and all that followed.

You stand at the banks of your Jordan River.  You are in an “in between” season.  What brought you through your past may not be what you need to cross your Jordan and enter your land flowing with milk and honey.  God is requiring a new level of trust and faith in Him in order to enter and claim the promises He has given you.

He has given you prophetic sight to see those promises.  Like with Moses, He has taken you alone to the mountain and opened your spiritual eyes to see what He has in store for you.  The question is this:  of what do you need to let go in order to acquire the skills and faith needed to cross your Jordan and enter your Promised Land?

The Children of Israel stopped their journey to mourn the loss of Moses.  Stop if you need to.  Ponder with the Lord.  Allow Father to show you who He created you to be and what He created you to do.  Allow Jesus to show you that which has brought you here but is no longer required and therefore needs to be given to Him.  Allow Holy Spirit to fan the flame of devotion and passion for the One who created you.

Deuteronomy 34: 8 tells us this “So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.” Let the Lord lead you through a time of letting go, of weeping and mourning if need be.  Then let Him bring it to an end.

Joshua 1: 2 says this “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.”

Arise!  Cross your Jordan.  Enter the land which the Lord is giving you.  What do you have to lose?  Only that which is no longer needed as you walk into the destiny that awaits.  You too will hear the Lord say like he did to Joshua, “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you”  (Joshua 1:3)

Hallelujah!

You Were Created for so Much More

                                          Promised Land

“The former things have come to pass.  Now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”  Isaiah 42:9

New Year’s Eve is 3 weeks from tonight.  The passing from one year to the next can be full of excitement, anticipation, and hope or it can be rife with fear, anxiety, and apprehension. That depends upon where you have been (the “former things”) and where you hope to go (the “new things”).

Wherever you have been I want you to know that you were created for so much more.  God has more in store for you in 2016 and beyond.  More health.  More provision.  More authority.  More power.  More Presence of God.  The storehouses of heaven never run out of whatever it is that you are in need of.

You are uniquely and wonderfully made and I am here to tell you that the Lord has a future and a hope for you.  He is declaring a new thing before it springs forth in your life.  No matter your age or situation, God is in the business of declaring and doing new things.  If you are reading this message, if you are breathing on this earth, this side of eternity, God has more for you.

Do you believe that?    The enemy of your soul would like you to believe that you are too young or too old, too educated or not educated enough, too poor, too needy, too scared to do what is stirring in your spirit.  The world will tell you many of the same things.  Do not listen to those lies.  Take those thoughts captive and declare this with me:  “I was created for so much more.”

I see an army camped in a valley.  The enemy surrounds them on the hillsides threatening their existence.  They sit by campfires.  They worry and whisper, “What are we going to do?”  They pray for wisdom and guidance.  They worship the Lord believing He will come through for them, all while they sit complacently around their campfires.  The enemy grows bolder.  Taunts them.  Threatens them.  The atmosphere is one of fear and intimidation.  Of defeat and worry.

In the story of David and Goliath we see a young shepherd take up the simple tools of his trade, his shepherd’s bag filled with five smooth stones and his sling.  David took that which he had right where he stood and defeated the enemy of God’s chosen people.  David understood the more of God.  He dedicated himself to doing what God asked of him right where he was.

God uses men and women who, like David, dedicate themselves to being excellent at what they do where they are placed and are concerned more about bringing glory to God than glory to themselves.  God uses men and women right where they are, with the tools of their trade to defeat the enemy and change the world.

I see an army, encamped in a valley, sitting complacently around campfires.  But I also see that same army rising up to take the land as each person awakens to the more of God and the more that He has for them.  As that army stands up and takes their  uniforms, they receive and fill out the mantel they were given by the Creator.  As each man, woman, and child recognizes the gifts they were given by that Creator, as each acknowledge and begin to operate in the purpose for which they were created, the kingdom of God advances and territory that has been stolen by the enemy of our souls is taken back.

You were created for so much more. You were created to take the land right where and when you live.  You were created to change the world.  You were created to inspire, to lead, to influence.

You, Dear One, are a child of the Most High God.  He is doing a new thing in you and for you.  Listen as He whispers to you.  Take the time to sit with Him away from the distractions of life, He will show you His plans.  He will reveal the Promised Land that lies before you.

You were created for so much more.  Now is the time.  This is the place.

Hallelujah!

 

 

 

How do you decide?

Among the RuinsWhat would you do if you saw a brick wall across your path?   Would you run straight into it to make sure it in fact was a brick wall that was trying to impede your progress and only then try to climb it, knock it down, or any number of things to get past it?  Would you, like my husband, analyze the wall, and work to determine how to remove the obstacle that is in your  way?  Or are you more like my son who would probably decide a brick wall makes a great backdrop for a comedic act and decide to entertain us while we waited for someone to come along to tear the wall down?

Perhaps you are more like I was when all you would have had to do is tell me there was a brick wall around the corner and I would have started to worry about how we were going to get around it and get to where we were going on time.  Today, if I had my paints with me, I would undoubtedly paint the wall and probably paint an archway on it, believing that the Lord would make a way when there appeared to be no way.

Decisions.  We make a thousand decisions a day.  What to eat, what to wear, where to go, who to meet…a thousand decisions big and small every day.

As a visual artist I must decide what medium to work in, what type of support to use, what color palette best serves my purpose, etc.

As a professional artist:  Where do I show my work?  How do I market and sell my paintings?  Do I work directly with the consumer or use a rep or a gallery?  How do I price, ship, distribute, etc.?

As an artist in ministry the list becomes even more complicated:  Where am I called?  To whom am I called?  Do I focus my efforts within the church community or in the marketplace?

You are uniquely and wonderfully made.  You will answer the questions in your life differently than any one else because you alone walk your path.  Just as my family would handle the brick wall differently, the family of Christ handles decisions in life differently.

You were created for a purpose.  Before He formed you our Creator had your purpose in mind.  As He formed you He gave you the exact gift mix that you needed to fulfill your purpose and live out your destiny as His child in the world.

Why oh why then do we run to the traditions and expectations of man when we are trying to figure out the right decisions to make each and every day?  Why do we listen to that Greek chorus in our heads…the one made up of our family, our peers, our friends or teachers?  Dear Ones, we must tune our ears to heaven and play only to the Audience of One if we are going to live out the vision He has placed within us.

He is the One who created you {Psalm 139: 13}.  He is the One who works all things together for your good {Romans 8:28}.  He is the One who is faithful to complete/perfect the work He began in you {Philippians 1:6}.

He may ask you to march to the beat of a different drum or He may ask you to march in step with the drum line.

He may ask you to move to a far off country {Genesis 12} or He may say “Be still and know that I am God.”  {Psalm 46:10}

You alone walk your path.  You have a unique purpose.  The destiny for which you were created is no one else’s.  Listen to the voice of your Savior.  His promise is that His sheep know Him and hear His voice {John 10}.  Play the song of your life to the Audience of the One who loved you so much He sent His Son to pay the price for your life. {John 3:16} Paint the masterpiece of your life for the Audience of the One who knows you better than you know yourself.  Work in the theatre of your life for the Audience of the One who ordained the days of your life when as yet there was not one of them {Psalm 139: 16}.

I need you!  The body of Christ needs you!  The world needs you to live out the plan and purpose for which you were created.  Listen to heaven as you work and walk on the earth.

Play to the Audience of the One who sits on the throne in heaven and you will hear not only the applause of man.  You will hear angels bending down with their applause as The One celebrates you and declares “Well done good and faithful servant.”  “This is MY beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.”

There’s nothing like it.

Glory to God!

 

Wake up!

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If you want to change a culture, change it’s art.  Art that is created from a place of worship, a place of abiding in the Presence of the Lord sets a transaction in motion that we can’t even begin to understand.  Holy Spirit invades the work and it serves as a gateway for others to encounter Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as they engage with the art.

At the DoorYou are that art form. You serve as a living gateway.  Lives lived with a heart of worship, from a place of abiding in the Lord become living gateways for the Lord to encounter His children.

“So wake up, you living gateways!

Lift up your head, you ageless doors of destiny!

Welcome the King of Glory, for He is about to come through you!”

You ask, “Who is this Glory-King?

The Lord, armed and ready for battle,

The Mighty one, invincible in every way!

So wake up you living gateways, and rejoice!

Fling wide, you ageless doors of destiny!

For here He comes; the King of Glory is ready to come in!”

Psalm 24: 7-9  The Passion Translation

All that you need is in Jesus.  He is Savior and Redeemer.  He is the Captain of the Angel Army.  He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals.  He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.  He is the lover of your soul, the source of every good gift.  He is the lifter of your head and the Prince of Peace.

You become a living gateway when you play to the audience of One.  The One who created you.  The One who abides in you.

Worship and abide.

Wake up!  He comes!  The King of Glory is ready to come in!

He has whatever you need.

Hallelujah!

 

In Between

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"The Journey"

In between.  Neither here nor there.  State of transition.  All apt descriptions for what many people experienced this week throughout the Midsouth as ice and snow disrupted plans, rearranged schedules, closed schools, businesses, and churches alike.  Prepared for one type of week, we found ourselves living a different type of week.

In between.  Neither here nor there.  State of transition.  All apt descriptions for those seasons in our life we often find ourselves.  What do you do when you find yourself in such a season?

The accuser of the brethren whispers:  “Strive”, “Make it happen”, “Look how lazy you are”,  “Martha really was the most productive sister”, etc.

Your flesh cries out:  “I can do this!”  “I should be doing that!”  “If only I had more (time, money, connections,)” etc.

The Spirit of the Living God says:

  • WAIT:   “Sit awhile. I am in the process of doing something that you cannot comprehend.”
  • WATCH:  “Where is your focus?  Is it on the things of this earth or on Me and the things of My kingdom.  I am at work in you to will and to do My purpose.”
  • WONDER:  “Ponder, pray, seek Me.  Come, let us reason together and I will show you the treasures of heaven alive and active in your life.”
  • WORSHIP:  “When you put yourself in a posture of worshiping Me, your Creator, the things of this world fade.  This is the key to gaining perspective on your situation.”
  • WORD:  “Read it. digest it. Memorize it. Pray it back to Me.  It is My Word that tells you…
    • My plans for you are a future and a hope. {Jeremiah 29:11}
    • I am at work to complete the work that I have begun in you.  {Phiippians 1:6}
    • I have called you and I am faithful to bring that call to pass. {1 Thessalonians 5:24}
    • I will never fail you or forsake you. {Joshua 1: 5}

The season of in between.  As my friend Teasi Cannon (www.teasicannon.com) wisely says, “So often we are so focused on looking for the next red carpet that we miss the beautiful area rug we are standing on.” God is at work in you and in your life.  He uses the in between times in our lives to work on our health, to deepen our relationships (with Him and with others),  to build foundations in our characters so that we can handle that next red carpet,  to put things in place in unseen ways that are necessary for the next steps and seasons of our lives.  No time is wasted in the Creator’s hands.

In chapter 2, verses 20-22 Daniel says, “Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His.  He changes times and seasons. He deposes kings and raises up others.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”

He knows your season.  He placed you in it.  When you find yourself in a season of in between, neither here nor there, and a state of transition, know that the Lover of your soul is right there with you, working all things together for your good. He will change it at the perfect time.

Yes! You DO have a date with destiny.  It is the destiny that He put inside of you.  Trust that the ice will melt, the snow will disappear, and the sun will shine again.  And when He says “Go”  you will be better equipped to go where He tells you to go, to do what He calls you to do, and to be who He created you to be.

Glory to God!

What’s in a Word?

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inspirational art, prophetic art, original painting

What is it about words?  They surround us in greetings (“Merry Christmas!”), promises (“I do.”), blessings, (“Happy Birthday”), celebration (“Congratulations”), forgiveness (“I’m sorry”), and so much more. Words fascinate, inspire, and transform.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  John 1:1-3

What’s in a word? POWER

  • God spoke and the world was created:  Words
  • Jesus spoke and a fig tree died: Words bring blessing or curses, life or death
  • We overcome by the Word of our mouth and the blood of the Lamb:  Words
  • The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy: Our words prophesy life and hope as we speak of what the Lord has done.

This is the season when we ponder, celebrate, and worship (“The Word made flesh.” (“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”  John 1:14).

Emmanuel, God with us, dwells among us!

What’s in a word?  PRESENCE!

What are you in need of this Christmas season?

  • Do you need healing?  Jehovah Rapha the Lord who heals dwells within you.
  • Do you need provision?  Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides dwells in your finances
  • Do you need protection?  Jehovah Sabbaoth, the Captain of the Angel Army dwells over you.
  • Do you need companionship/friendship?  The Comforter dwells with you.

The Word became flesh over 2000 years ago as a tiny baby in a manger in Bethlehem. Because He did we have victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil.  The Word becomes flesh daily as we appropriate His victory and His Presence in our lives.

Speak out Saints of God!  The Word who became flesh abides in you and dwells among you.  There is power and Presence in your words because THE WORD became flesh and dwelt among us.

Glory to God!

Joy to the World…

Fish or Fowl?

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Sky and Water by MC Escher

Sky and Water by MC Escher

Tessellate.  I woke up to that word running through my thoughts.  Really?  Tessellate?  Images of M.C. Escher’s work floated through my consciousness (or subconsciousness) as I pondered the meaning of the word.  “What are You trying to say to me Lord?”  So, before I began my daily journal entry, I went to the dictionary.  No help.  Next step: an internet search.  The dots began to connect.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”  Romans 12:2 A verse I had read just the day before.

Escher’s Sky and Water image is a perfect visual representation of this passage.  As fish, we swim in the waters of conformity when we

  • accept the notion of being a starving artist
  • walk burdened by our past
  • agree with the notion that art isn’t important in the kingdom of God
  • identify ourselves with any notion of unworthiness or shame

We renew our mind and mindsets as we wash our minds in the living waters of Jesus’ words (John 4).  As we embrace His teaching on abundance (John 10).  As we recognize our significance to the One who created us (Psalm 139).  As we appropriate Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil (John 16).

As we engage in the process of renewal:  

  • We become thriving artists
  • We overcome and heal from past wounds
  • We center ourselves and our identity on who we are in Christ
  • We live knowing we are loved unconditionally by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

We are transformed.  Then, as we worship the One who is the source of renewal we stretch our wings and fly.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  Psalm 103: 1-5   

Rise up Mighty Warriors of the Kingdom!  Worship!  Be renewed!  Be transformed from fish to fowl.  Take flight!  

You were created to fly!

 

Finding Your Way

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There is was!  Smack in the middle of the workshop I was teaching.  We were talking about tag lines. For weeks, I had been struggling to find the right words to express what the Lord had spoken to me when He asked me to shepherd His army of artistic warriors.  “I help artists to…”  I started.  An artist in the workshop finished my sentence, “…find their way!”  Perfect!

Kingdom Come I have pondered that word, WAY.  It is officially defined as

  • a road, route, path, or passage that leads from one place to another
  • space to proceed
  • a unusual or customary course of action or state of affairs
  • progress or advancement in accomplishing a goal
  • a manner or method of doing
  • a habit, characteristic, or tendency
  • a specific direction
  • an aptitude or a facility

In John 14:6  Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  He fulfills all of the above definitions and more!   He is the path, the course of action, the habit, etc.  WOW!  Could it be that He is our way to a more abundant life? Our way to a healthier body?  Our way to freedom from bondage?  Yes and so much more!

Not only is Jesus the way for our spiritual lives, when in verse 26 He tells us that Holy Spirit will teach us all things it means ALL things.  He brings revelation for our businesses, our ministries, our families.  He pours out wisdom and discernment for that meeting scheduled for tomorrow, that decision that needs to be made by next week, or that turn in the road ahead.

Yes, Abide Studio Ministry is all about helping artists find their Way.  Do I have all the answers?  Not at all.  I have been on this artist’s way for awhile, so I’ve gained insight and knowledge.  But finding your way in this life is not about finding all of the answers, it is about finding The Way.  Jesus.  The Way.  The Truth.  The Life.

Hallelujah!

If you would like to find out how Abide Studio Ministry can help you find your way, check out the website at www.abidestudioministry.com

Artwork is 24″ x 36″ triptych.  “Kingdom Come”  It is available here

Like the Eagles

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Soaring

I went walking the other day.  It was a morning full of frustration and battling discouragement.  I arrived at my usual track and spotted a hawk taking off from the trees.  “Stop and Watch” I heard the Lord whisper.  “I have something to show you.”  Hawks have always been a confirming sign of God’s Presence for me, but this was new.  Okay.  I stopped and watched as the hawk took flight, using his wings to gain altitude. And then it happened.

He stopped flapping his wings and started gliding on the wind currents.  The verse from Isaiah came to mind.  “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  (Isaiah 40:31)  Suddenly I saw what the Lord was speaking in Isaiah!

I watched that hawk soar higher and farther with hardly any effort!  He glided to higher heights!  He climbed on the current of the wind and it took him so far he was out of my sight.  He didn’t get tired.  He didn’t become weary.  He soared as he “waited” for the current to take him to new places.

And I understood.  When we wait for the Lord, when we wait for His wind to carry us, His timing to move us, His current to transport us, we too have the ability to soar higher and farther without expending the energy it takes to try to get there on our own strength.

Suddenly I realized I didn’t have to battle frustration and discouragement. Jesus has already done that on my behalf.  I just have to soar on the wind of His authority and victory.  Glory to God!

“Take me higher and further Lord” has become my constant prayer. “Give me eagle’s wings!”

What’s in it for Me?

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Arising

  • Now is the time!  
  • Now is the time for artistic warriors to sharpen their swords of the Spirit.
  • Now is the time for artists to step out in their God-given destiny as communicators of heaven’s truths.
  • Now is the time to gather together, to link arms and come together as the army of the Lord

Now is the time to be proactive.  In Zecharaiah 1, as the four forces come against God’s chosen (the four horns), God sends four craftsmen to destroy the enemy.  As things heat up in the world around us, God is raising up an army of artistic warriors.  

  • Artists who understand that the battle is the Lord’s.
  • Artists who battle not against flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness by creating art that brings glory to Christ, the Victor.
  • Artists who partner with the Holy Spirit and thus create work that transcends creation and speaks on behalf of The Creator.

Is that you?  Are you a kingdom artist, not comfortable in the art world (because you follow Christ) or in the church (because you are an artist)?  Do you carry a vision of God using your art to transform lives and impact culture?    Do you feel called, but uncertain or alone?

Then Made to Create is for you and the Lord is calling you to spend a day with Him.  In June, the Lord gave me a vision of His army of artistic warriors gathering together.  He promises to meet us in a place of worship, study, and creative expression.  More than a conference or workshop, this is a day for empowering your dreams and visions.  Saturday, October 4, 9-6:30 at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork (Franklin, TN.)  Give the Lord your day.  Join us.

  • What’s in it for you?  A place of safety to link arms with fellow believers and  kingdom artists.
  • What’s in it for you?  Spiritual truths and practical exercises and tools that will empower your vision.
  • What’s in it for you?  An opportunity to meet the Lord in the company of like-minded followers of Christ.

What’s in it for you?  A life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

What are you waiting for?  Register now!  

“Arising” is a 24″ x24″ painting that I created during worship at our Artists in Christian Testimony Regional Gathering in August.  It depicts all that I have written and what is stirring in my spirit about artists arising during these times.

Heartbeat of God is the blog of Deborah Gall of Abide Studio Ministry.  Visit the full website at www.abidestudioministry.com