Monday, November 20, 2017

Prelude to a Song of Worship

I read this prayer in the book Prayers for Life, published by Publications International, Ltd., which can be found here. It is a lovely book with beautiful artwork, scripture, and prayers for a variety of occasions.  It would make a lovely gift, in fact, I liked it so much that  I recently purchased a copy for a friend.  I didn't know anything about the author of the prayer, but the words were familiar from a song that I remembered from the 1970s. So, I Googled Richard of Chichester and found a bit of information about the man, the priest, the bishop, the saint, and the song--all thanks to Wikipedia

Richard of Chichester was the Bishop of Chichester and canonized in 1262. He is recognized as a saint by both the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches. He was born in 1197 and died April 3, 1253. He was an ascetic who wore a hair shirt and refused to eat off of silver. He ate simply and was a vegetarian. When elected Bishop of Chichester, King Henry VIII refused to accept him and confiscated the see's properties and revenues. The church and Richard held their ground and eventually, full rights and property of the see were returned to him in 1246 and he earnestly began to write a body of statues to reform the morals and manners of his clergy and make changes to improve the order and reverence of the services.  Richard is the patron saint of the county of Sussex in England. His feast day is April 3 on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA).  He is also remembered for this beautiful prayer whichreflects his love of and devotion to Jesus: 

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ

For all the benefits Thou hast given me,
For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly.

The prayer was adapted for the song "Day by Day"  for the musical Godspell (1971) which is why it was familiar to me.

Day by Day

Day by day,
Dear Lord,  three things I pray:
To see Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly,
Day by Day.

Blessings,


Vicki

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sufficient Grace 2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace: The free, unmerited, undeserved favor given by God. The love and mercy given to us by God, not because of anything that we have done to earn it but because He desires for us to have it. It is the gift of salvation and favor.  Rest in the assurance that it is sufficient (enough, ample, all that is needed, adequate) for whatever we are going through, no matter how powerful the storm, no matter how deep and dark the valley, no matter how bad the news. Grace. Sufficient. For. Me.  Hold tight to that truth. His grace is enough, all we need no matter what.
That comforts me. I hope it is a truth you will cling to and let it bring comfort to you as well.




Blessings,


Vicki



Monday, October 30, 2017

Always There Psalm 139:10



I love this photo from one of my many trips to Jekyll Island, GA.  Such a beautiful little island. The ocean always seems to bring my heart closer to God. I think it is the magnitude of it and how it makes me realize how small I am and how enormous He is and that puts everything into the right perspective.



Blessings,

Vicki

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Little Halloween Fun

We are empty nesters so we don't do much on Halloween. In fact, when we had our farm, we had no trick or treaters the entire 21 years that we lived there. So we are a bit rusty when it comes to participating in the spookiest night of the year!

This year we are in a new neighborhood with quite a few children so we thought it would be fun to join in and give out candy.  I decorated my porch for fall several weeks ago but I wanted to add something special just for Halloween.  Nothing too scary, just something fun.  The wicked witch legs are always fun. So that's what I went with. 


A bit of drippy writing...with a tiny Jack O'Lantern face...(sorry about the glare, I put an acrylic sealer over the painting since it will be outside with variable temperatures for a week.)


Shiny boots and green bows and yellow and black stockings, oh my...


make for a fun little touch of Halloween.



Always time for a little fun. Happy Halloween.

Blessings,

Vicki


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Maine Coast Receding Storm

Quite a few months ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in donating one of my paintings for a silent auction being held to raise money for a high school theater group.  I had been wanting to do an acrylic painting using a palette knife for awhile and decided to use that technique for a coastal painting to donate. I had a pre-gessoed, MDF and wood support on hand and decided to use that.   Here is the finished painting:


It has been many years since I worked entirely with a palette knife and I had forgotten how much fun it can be. I liked using the MDF and wood support for this piece. Very easy to work with.  This painting was a 12x12.  I am going to use it as a study piece for a larger painting.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Blessings,

Vicki

Friday, September 29, 2017

Yom Kippur - A Christian Perspective

Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, (the Sabbath of Sabbaths) begins at sunset today, ending tomorrow at sunset. This day ends the High Holy Days of the Jewish faith (also known as the “Days of Awe”) which began with Rosh Hashanah (this year at sunset on September 20th).  Judaism teaches that God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah and waits for Yom Kippur to “seal” each person's fate for the coming year. It is observed in the Jewish faith by fasting, prayer, abstaining from physical pleasures, refraining from work, and attending special prayer and worship services. Leviticus 16 describes God’s instructions given to Moses for Aaron for special sacrifices for the Day of Atonement.


Most Christians don't observe Yom Kippur simply because as believers in Jesus Christ,  we believe that  Jesus fulfilled the law and therefore, we are not bound by the law of the old covenant. The new covenant, made through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the atonement of our sins, frees us from the law of the old covenant. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17.)*  Those who belong to Jesus are assured of having their names written in the Book of Life and will not perish.

While I, as a Christian, do not observe the High Holy days of Judaism, I have always thought that Yom Kippur and the preceding High Holy Days are an appropriate time for all believers to reflect on our actions, thoughts, words, and the nature of our hearts over the last year and make sincere repentance. For we all fall short and sin and only by His grace will we be saved and not perish, not by anything that we can do, but because of what he has done and freely given to all of us who believe.


(Matthew 5:17, Leviticus 16, Romans 3:19, Romans 3:21-29, Revelation 20:15)

* A good explanation/interpretation of Matthew 5:17 can be found here:


Blessings,

Vicki


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)


One of my favorite songs. Such beautiful lyrics, reminding us to stretch and deepen our faith and trust.






Blessings,

Vicki

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hello, Autumn!


I am happy to say goodbye to this summer. It was long, hot and at its end, brought so much pain and devastation to so many.  My prayer is that those who are hurting from the fury of the hurricanes, fires, flooding, earthquakes, and volcanoes will somehow be able to find hope in the One who never forgets those in need.   


But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Psalm 9:18


Hope is what allows the human spirit to survive and revive even in the darkest days. May those sitting now in the devastation that has left them homeless, injured, broken-hearted, mourning for those who died, and wondering where and what they will do, somehow find the Hope that is in Him. 


 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20
...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

May the change of the season bring with it calm and peace and unity and may our hope rest in the Lord.



Please consider making a donation to one of the many verified charities helping with disaster relief in all the areas affected by these disasters.

Blessings,


Vicki

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Psalm 62:6


          Praying for the safety of those fleeing Irma, those who stayed behind, and those brave
 first responders who are standing ready to help all those in need.
May God protect and keep you all. 




Blessings,

Vicki

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Autumn Is Just Around the Corner



September is upon us and autumn is just around the corner.  Thinking of autumn leaves, pumpkins, football and all those other lovely things that autumn brings.  In keeping with that mood, a photo from a 2012 trip to Jekyll in early December (the weather change comes later there) is the backdrop for today's inspirational verse from the book of Psalm. 


Have a great day!

Vicki

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Where Does the Time Go?

Has it really been almost nine months since my last post?  So much has happened and where do you begin again when so much time has passed. Our lease was up on April 1st on the house we lived in for two years. We started in January to find a new house but this time we wanted to buy. We had finally made the decision to stay in the same county in Northwest Georgia and enjoy our retirement years among our friends and family.  We spent about a year before that decision trying to find out where we wanted to live on the coast. We had narrowed it down, but in December of last year we talked with some friends who lived there and they said the health care was terrible and it was difficult to make friends because of the nature of coastal living. This was confirmed for us in several ways, so we gave up and gave in and decided to stay put and find a small house in a small neighborhood.

We found our house. A little craftsman style in a nice little community that is much closer to town and really convenient to everything we need and want. We moved the last week in March and found we really had not downsized enough over the last five years since selling our farm. Our garage is still half full and my dining room still has boxes of vintage glassware and other items to sell on eBay or Etsy or wherever and whenever I have time to post it.

We had only been in our new home a little over a month when John was elected President of the HOA. My fault, I nominated him. Then I ended up as Treasurer. It has been fun but much more work than initially anticipated. But it is a great way to meet your neighbors and get involved and we are enjoying it. (Most days. Ha!)

So there hasn't been a lot of time for blogging and sharing. We have been painting, putting in new flooring in the guest room and my office/studio, and more painting and rearranging is still on the agenda. There are a lot of long term projects to get the house where I want it but we are taking it slow and easy for now.

I didn't have enough going on so I decided it was time for my knee replacements. I had my right knee done the first of August and recovery is progressing well. I will say this and I heard it many, many times before I had this done and it warrants repeating:  Physical Therapy is the key to a quick and thorough recovery! With the exception of only a couple of days, I have worked my exercises every day while going to PT at least twice per week. If you don't do the PT, I am convinced you will never regain full use of your knee again. So, I have worked hard and it is paying off. I was going to go ahead and have the left one done four weeks from the first but in retrospect, that was a bit ambitious. I want to be sure the first one is completely healed before having the second surgery. Plus Mr. Graceful needs some procedures done and they are a bit more urgent in my opinion (not his, ha!)

I haven't really had much time to do any painting other than this one sign I  painted for the porch. I did this on a pre-gessoed wood and MDF support.





I have been going through some of my photos and adding scripture and other inspirational words as a sort of combination exercise in faith and creativity.  I might  post a couple of these each week on the blog just to stay in touch and to help me get back into the discipline of posting.

Hopefully, I will have photos to share of the house soon and maybe some new artwork too!

Until then,


Vicki