Ask a painter about his palette, and you’ll get a passionate answer about the colors they’ve chosen. The same thing is true about the friendships in our lives. Each part of a relationship is as rich as a shade of Prussian blue.
Our friends loyalty, care, and compassion, all of these things have added so much color to our lives. Friends transform bad days into better ones. Trials into laughter, and memories out of normal days.
A person’s friends are more valuable than your life’s savings. Because they don’t just insure the future, they add value to the present. Value that only grows as you do.
Hair may turn from brown to silvery white, or wave goodbye, but friendship never gets old. Don’t forget to let your friends know how much they matter to you, and regularly. You never know when a kind word from you, may add just the right shade of sunshine to their own dark day.
This watercolor is called Mountain Top Goals. It’s one of four pieces, and it part of a theme. The view from the summit isn’t where you start. You begin looking up, and setting a goal. When you achieve it, the view is totally different.
You’ll be standing on what you were viewing, looking back from where you came. That doesn’t means it’s over. It means you are seeing now from the perspective of those you are going to lead to the place you have achieved.
This means you have to go back down, train others to prepare them, and climb the same mountain a different way. The first time you were climbing as an individual, the second time, you’re climbing as a team. These are Mountain Top Goals!
Last week, our Lead Pastor, Pastor Denny Livingston inspired this watercolor with his wonderful post from Psalms 18. The Lord truly is our Rock, and He is higher than all the problems which seem, at times, to tower over us.
Yet it is The Lord who is our Rock, and Strong Tower. He has established us, and The Lord will anchor us, and anoint us to overcome, and rise above all that stands agains us!
The title of this watercolor is climb higher. The story is told about the only survivor of the first failed attempt to climb Everest. At a party to honor his comrades, he said something. He spoke, as if to the mountain itself.
He told it, we will beat you, because we will get better, but that the mountain was as tall as it was ever going to be. Perhaps you’re facing something you feel is bigger than you, never forget, you have the ability to grow above what is in front of you.
Climb higher than what you did yesterday, even if it’s only one inch, it’s farther than your last attempt. You don’t have to reach the summit in one day, but you can reach it, progressing a little more a day at a time.
Prayer takes us on a journey, beyond the four walls of our location. Beyond even the circumstances of our situation. Prayer advances through time with God, as He acts upon our request that may have been made 10, 20, even 50 years before.
We may be sleeping in His presence, or merely waiting with anticipation, but either way, He does not forget, nor does prayer die. Even when we stand in glorified bodies, speaking praise, and not bringing petitions, it will still be prayer. Like us, it will be converted from a request, to an answer, and a praise.
Prayer can be made in Tennessee, and cause a response half a world away. The act of prayer is not passive, nor is it a one way form of communication. God does not view prayer as something we ask, and He accomplishes.
He views it as a partnership, not because we in ourselves can make one hair white or black. Rather, because it is a journey, not just a conversation. We talk to Him, not out of our need, but out of our relationship. We may have a need, while in a relationship conversation, but we shouldn’t only come to Him when in need.
It’s not that He won’t answer even then, but because spending time with Him is what we speak. I’m a new Father, and I don’t know a lot, but I do know, when I talk to my son, he smiles at me. When he smiles at me, I feel like I’m on cloud nine.
He knows that I love him, and I know that he loves me. That makes all right with the world, no matter how good or bad my day has been. That is what prayer is designed to be. Our relationship with God is deepened in prayer, we are changed in prayer, circumstances are altered, and God’s power affects others in our prayer.
The first of the four is the most important, a deepened relationship. That is what I mean about prayer being a journey, taking us beyond ourselves, beyond where, and what we are. Beyond time, space, and our lifetimes, to the future, by The Finger Of God!
It’s a little before four, and I was just looking at our little miracle. He decided he was hungry, now he’s probably dreaming of race cars, and trucks. Me, I’m dreaming of watching him dream for the next twenty years.
For some of you that may sound cheesy, but to those who know our story you understand. For almost ten years we dreamed of holding our own baby. This week, we started the final paperwork for the adoption. It’s been the best five months we’ve ever known.
We can’t wait to see what all lies ahead. I’m sure they’ll be the unexpected, there always is, but that’s part of being a family. I’m ok with that, because I’m holding a miracle. Did you know miracles drool? It’s pretty spectacular!
In just a few days, starts my favorite quarter of the year, especially this year. Tomorrow our baby boy turns 5 months old. This quarter we will, celebrate my parent’s anniversary, finalize the final paperwork for Tennessee, rejoice at our Church anniversary, wish dear loved ones happy birthdays, and celebrate the holidays.
Yes, all of this is one season to me. I prefer to celebrate September through December. Honestly September through January really. Others don’t and that’s fine, but it makes me smile.
Beyond that, I would like to encourage you to look, not at a quarter, but a week. Instead of viewing today as a blue Monday, or a negative, view it as part of a week filled with potential. This week, you’ll see people you both love, and like. You will experience some act of kindness, either small or great. Hopefully you will be the instigator of a kindness to others.
Regardless of what you are facing today, view it as the beginning of a week filled with possibilities. Something good will happen this week. Focus on finding the good, and let everything else just be part of the week’s journey to something worth celebrating.
Today, my birthday started with my wife handing me our little boy, best birthday ever!!! God has made my most important dreams come true. He called me to Salvation, blessed me to be a part of His Ministry, gifted me a beautiful Godly wife, and a promised child, and set me in the midst of dear precious family and friends. Short of Heaven, it truly doesn’t get better than this. 43 looks incredible from where I stand, through God’s Grace and Mercy!!!
It’s 3:23 am, little man has had a hard few days due to a cold. He’s asleep now, but wakes up when you lay him down. Ashley and I have been taking shifts, and are so thankful to have the opportunity.
This is part of our miracle, this is what we prayed for. That may sound strange to some, but if you’ve ever longed for a child, you understand. For in my hand, and in my heart is an answered prayer. A living breathing proof that God not only exist, but responds to the requests of His children.
We waited almost ten years for this miracle, and it’s worth every second. I turned 32 the year we got married, and our son was born when I was 42. My first birthday as a Dad is next week. Ashley, like Nicholas, is an answer to prayer. Both have been worth the wait, no matter where our days find us.
We’ve spent nights in hospitals, cried together, argued together, and been afraid together. Miracles are miracles no matter what the scene, or how long you’ve had them. I would encourage someone in the midst of whatever trial you’re facing, that you are living in your last miracle.
God has brought you where you are, we couldn’t have gotten here by ourselves. An ever present help, He’s with you in your sickness, financial trouble, or relationship problem. God doesn’t stop being God because we have questions, and He doesn’t mind them.
Just remember this when asking, you’ve received answers before. Every day is made up of yesterday’s miracles. Don’t lose sight of them. Don’t allow the answer that you prayed so long for, ever to become overlooked.
Cherish what you have, treasure it. If you always view your blessings through the eyes of gratitude, it doesn’t mean you’ll never be up at 3 am again. Though it does mean you’ll thank God for sleepless nights, hospital rooms, recovery rooms, and the fact you’re once empty home is so gracefully full now!
Imagine if you walked into your local Hospital Gift Shop, and saw Betty White behind the counter. No I don’t think it would happen, but in her latter years, someone arguably more famous than Betty White did just that.
Her name was Ethel Merman, and she regularly volunteered at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center in her latter years, while still performing regularly in television guest roles. If you are a fan of broadway, and old movies, There’s No Business Like Show Business, or Annie Get Your Gun’s lyrics are echoing through your head right now.
She also spent time visiting the patients there. It was her way of giving back to those in need. I can imagine the conversations with a patient and her daughter or son after this.
“It was really her! A star as big as she is taking time to visit me?” It was only a few moments for Merman, but can you imagine how many stories, and conversations it gave the patients? More than just cheering them up with a visit, she gave them something to talk about.
If you’re either lonely, or not able to get out much, something to talk about is like a lifeline. Too often, we forget how import communication is, not only for informing and instructing, but interaction. One good conversation could add years to a life, as well as life to a person’s years.
If you know someone today who may be not able to get out much, a little lonely, or simply someone you haven’t heard from in a while, I’d like to encourage you. Send a text, make a call, if possible stop by for a visit. Even if that’s not possible, a text or call is.
They may not say about you what they did about Ethel Merman, but it will give them something to talk about. It may also leave them with something to look forward to, another conversation.