I recently heard the opening of this familiar song in a commercial, so I looked it up online. One of the comments is, "This may be the greatest piece of music ever composed." I agree!!! The piano makes me think of fluttering angels wings. Interestingly, the Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert, one of the greatest composers of Western classical music, only gave ONE concert of his own works during his lifetime! He was 31 and died 8 months later (source: Wikipedia). What a short lifetime for this incredibly gifted and prolific artist!
Shalom peace to you during this holy season of our beloved Savior's birth
"The Nurturing Heart" Brooch by Joy Theda Bjork (approx. 2.25 x 2.5 inches)
I met the lovely artist and author, Joy Theda Bjork in the Created to Thrive Mentoring Program, and purchased this beautiful handmade brooch from her. The card that came with it says, "You are His Beloved. Take care of yourself first, then others. Psalm 139" Joy lives in Sweden now, but used to live in NJ! I met her in person recently at the Gathering of Artisans Conference. Contact Joy on Facebook if you're interested in your own 'Nurturing Heart' brooch-- she creates it with your color preferences. She also has a wonderful book, "After Divorce, You Can Live Again" which can be applied to recovering from any traumatic experience. I highly recommend it!
My friend Antonina recently shared this powerful quote with me from Brennan Manning's book, The Ragamuffin Gospel.
What if you discovered that the least of the brethren of Jesus, the one who needs your love the most, the one you can help the most by loving, the one to whom your love will be the most meaningful-- what if you discovered that this least of the brethren of Jesus… is YOU?
I was incredibly honored last month to win my third award for Transformation, a 24" x 50" oil painting I created in college when I was 21 years-old. It came in Third Place ($200) in the Oakton Foundation Spring 2019 Visual Arts Competition. I'd like to share the original sketch as well as some insight behind the painting.
Original sketch, self-portrait, 1986
Like many, depression runs in my family. As a teenager I was caught in a downward spiral of anxiety and depression, and after a life-threatening crisis at age 16, I was briefly hospitalized and started getting treatment.
A few years later on my first day of college I met Sarabeth, a born-again Christian, who invited me to the Christian Fellowship group on campus. I went on and off, but mostly did my own thing for the next few years. But I became good friends with her and had many other Christians reach out to me. Even though I had been raised in church, it took me a long time to believe that the Heavenly Father really loved me and that all my sins were forgiven through the work of His Son, Jesus. It was difficult for me to grasp that Jesus bore the punishment for my sins, wanted to wash me clean with His blood and make “all things new” in my life. It seemed too good to be true! But in 1984 I cried out to the Lord and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, and a journey that I look forward to continuing for all eternity!
(To learn more about God's gift of salvation, click here.)
This painting reflects the transformation that took place in me. He brought me out of a dark place into his marvelous love. Colossians 1: 13 AMPC, "[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."
Standing next to "Transformation" at a Warren County Arts Show in 2012.
A year ago, July 18, Mom made her transition to heaven. It's been a difficult few years, but it's a joy to know she is united with my father and brother, experiencing the release from all pain and suffering, enjoying complete peace, love and joy with her Savior forever!
My poem "Your Love Heals Me" was published in the Churches of God General Conference weekly publication, "The Gem"!
Early last year my dear friend Carolyn told me she thought some of my writing would be perfect for the weekly inspirational handout she got at church, "The Gem" a publication produced by Churches of God General Conference. I finally submitted a few pieces in March. Two were rejected, but I just received confirmation that this one made it in! I received some copies and a check for $10.00 yesterday! What an honor-- Praise you, Jesus!
When Evan got home from a walk this morning, he saw what he thought was a worm crawling in our front yard. Upon closer inspection, it was hundreds of what we've come to identify as a "swarming mass of larvae."Ewwwwww!!!!! (Click here for more info) By the time I took this video, they were crawling into the dirt.