Archive for July, 2012

the fullness of God—in Jesus!

In the middle of this quite amazing description of Jesus, comes a statement that is mind-blowing…

Spendor painting by Sue Kemnitz

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created…  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, … the beginning, … And in everything preeminent [meaning paramount rank, dignity and importance]. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him, … and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood.” Col. 1:15-19

All (meaning … all!) the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Jesus. The fullness of God, in a human being. Can we even fathom the fullness of God. Easy answer. “No.” Jesus, spotless, the Father resting in You. Not parts, but all the fullness of God. That blows me away. All of the goodness, the desires of, the creativity, and the power of the Father, rests in Jesus! (Amongst over a million trillion other traits, I’m quite sure.)

All the goodness – is it any wonder that we are so in love with Jesus? Think of the extreme kindness and patience and gentleness and love that’s in Him. All the goodness of our Father.

The desires of…. What is the desire of the Father? To walk and talk with us. To be with us. Can it be so simple? Yes! Regardless of the Eve’s bite of the apple, Gods everlasting, eternal, desire is to have an everlasting, eternal relationship with us.

The creativity. Think of God at his art table, but after He says the word, and before He can even put it on papyrus, it’s done. (Do it Lord in my work!)

And the power. All power is His. The power to birth or to destroy. The power to bring into being out of nothing. The power that transforms: trees grow, flowers bloom, puppies turn into dogs, and children become worshipers and worshiping adults. We can help it to happen, but we can’t make it happen. The power to open and close. The power to free.

The fullness of God dwells in Jesus. Our Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He just keeps getting better—in our hearts and on us.

Take it a step further. Let Jesus dwell (live in and linger according to Mr. Webster) in our heart. And then the Father also dwells in our heart. Let that settle in our Spirit. It’s true!

My favorite time this week was when I asked the Lord to reveal an aspect of His character for that day and He showed me Joy. Cartwheels, giggly, jump-in-the-puddles type of Joy. So good. So good to remember. Joy that is strength to hold on to the end of the rope, knowing that God’s tied the knot on the end so we can.

Please note: I am migrating my blog to a new home at SueKemnitz.com. Please take a moment to subscribe to my blog at the new address. (Same Jesus is there!) I can’t subscribe for you, so please, it takes just a moment! The subscribe portion is on the upper right column, just like before. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! To my friends and followers!

Sue
Only Believe.

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Spendor painting by Sue Kemnitz
Splendor

His majesty

“O God, my God, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
You have set your glory above the heavens.”
(Psalm 8:1)

Jessica Cliff by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

I’ve been reading and re-reading Psalm 8. In the morning, before I go to sleep, and in the middle of the night sometimes. His majesty surrounds us. Take a minute to soak it in.

There are several things I picked up as I examined these beginning verses in the cheater notes in the back of my Bible. The word majesty originally comes from a word whose meaning includes, “expand.” Now – that’s the perfect picture of God. His Word, His thoughts, His goodness, on and on, forever. Even the universe expanding, which science has found to be true.

One of the descriptions of majesty, as it pertains to Psalm 8, is the breakers of the sea. Think of the sea, the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or my favorite sea, Lake Superior. The waves crash to the shore.

  • They don’t hold back.
  • There is a constancy in the movement. The size and shape may alter, but there is always movement.
  • If the shore is not deeply rooted, it will erode.

My mind turned to the little crabs that run from the waves. Have you ever seen them? The waves come in and they either run for higher ground or dig into the sand. They’re pretty funny.

Compare that to the surfers. Pastor Dave Housholder comes to mind. He is one who runs towards the water, towards the waves and the challenge. All the time! In another day and age, Hous would be one of David’s mighty men.

How can we be people who run towards His majesty?

  1. Soak. I think that’s the easiest and hardest thing. I heard Shaun Bolz (expression58.org) a while back and he suggested we just sit and meditate on Jesus. Think of one aspect of His character, or His goodness, or even His majesty. Let Him wash over you again and again. Be refreshed and renewed and set your sights on Him above. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. Every day is a good day to soak in the Lord!
  2. Praise. We were in Milwaukee this past weekend. It is dry and more dry there. We never know the whys. And yet I couldn’t help but wonder if their battle about their state leader, Walker, had an effect on their land. The intense attack on leadership, the grumbling, the complaining. I spent time apologizing to the Lord. Every day is a good day to praise the Lord.
  3. Thanksgiving. Always. In everything. Regardless! Every day is a good day to thank the Lord.
  4. Say, “Yes.” Stealing a snippet from Bill Johnson’s message yesterday, at the end of our life, we want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” Do something! Every day is a good day to say “Yes.”

Spend a little time reflecting on His majesty. Truly, we can’t live, really live, without it. And then – go surfing!

Question: Which do you want to be? A crab, or one who rides His wave?

Sue
Only Believe.

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Jessica Cliff by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

This painting was done as a Christmas present / housewarming present for my daughter, Jessica. The Lord gave me the picture, just for her. It’s one of my favs!

Father of Lights

Last night I watched the new documentary, Father of Lights.

Father of Lights

Our God is a God of love. That, in a nutshell, is the movie. It was amazing to watch story after story of people spreading His Love. In bars, in the heart of India, in the midst of the unwanted in China, to Latin leaders in Chicago. Declarations of the great and huge heart of Jesus in the most unlikely spots. Story after story after story.

From the Father of Lights website, Darren Wilson (founder of Wanderlust) shares, “I went into making this film by asking the simple question: who is God? I wanted to know His character, His personality, and who He truly is.”

Which story struck me the most? What’s my favorite flower, sweetest songbird, or the most beautiful tree? How much more a favorite story of His love in action! A favorite is impossible, however, here are two snippets..

There was a story of a young couple, leading successful lives. He was a bank VP and they had a great house and great life here in the US. It didn’t say how they ended up at a meeting with Randy Clark, but Randy (what an instigator!) prayed for them. I’m not even sure if he laid hands on the man. I did, however, see the young man, filled with the power of God, fly across the room. And that powerful touch, that Damascus-type revelation of His heart, prompted them to sell everything and move to China. There, they run an orphanage that cares for the unwanted. The orphanage is beautiful, yet they mentioned the first rat-infested apartment they rented within days of moving to China. They love on these castoffs with an extravagant love. They hold each young and broken one close. Physically, simply, lovingly. A love that indeed reveals the heart of our Father.

And then there’s Todd White – taking His Love into meetings with Latin warlords right here in this country. Watching those gang leaders melt and, a few months later, confessing they couldn’t get enough Christian music. And wearing their new-found love and goodness.

You have to see this movie! The official release is in October. They are touring the movie throughout the US until then. I know we’ll show it at NewDay, once it is released. (Per Darren’s request.)

As for us, in our own little worlds. Spread some love. Give a hug. Kiss a fool.

God is Love. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

Question: What’s your toughest situation? Can you, like our Poppa God, love first?

Sue
Only Believe.

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bethel logo

I just love these worshipers! So I’m sharing them again.

Childlike Worship by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

wakey, wakey—rise and shine

The story of Lazarus is in John 11. “Wakey, wakey. Rise and shine!” could be the subtitle.

Light by contemporary artist sue kemnitz

As Jesus goes to raise the dead, He makes this statement, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” John 11:9-10

The statement seems to be out of context. But, as Jesus does so well, the statement is a call. And an explanation of what He is about.

“Are there not 12 hours in the day?” As long as the day is, be “open.” Dwell on the good He has done. Keep His stories close to our hearts, so they come easily and naturally. “Do good,” wherever He puts us. Oftentimes, it speaks louder than words.

Walk with me in the day. As we walk and talk with Him, the Fathers heart will be revealed. We will see Light.

We will not stumble. What a bold remark. As we purposefully stay in and with the Light, We will go to the dead and God will be glorified. What if we approached each opportunity knowing that in the light, we won’t stumble?

Can you see the people in the dark? Dead and buried spiritually? As my friend, Diane, asks, “what unreached people group has the Lord put in front of you?” What unreached person has the Lord put in front of you. Whom can be overcome with His kindness and joy?

A couple hints:

  • Say yes. Jesus said yes.
  • Be yourself. David used a slingshot. What’s your weapon?
  • Look. Who is in your “yard.”
  • Do your passion. Shine.

My hubby, Randy, has found an unusual way to connect with our son. He plays “Words with Friends.” I never would have expected that my prayer for daily contact for the two would include playing a digital game! God is amazing!

God will have His way. His Word will hit the target. But maybe, just maybe, only with and through you. Will you be the one to raise the dead? The one saying, “Wakey, wakey. Rise and Shine!” To shine the Light. Knowing darkness is impossible in the Light.

Question: Who, around you, needs the Light? Are you praying? Are you sharing? Are you bringing light?

Sue
Only Believe.

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Light by contemporary artist sue kemnitz
“Light”

Power. Light. Boldness. Whether this portrays the Bright Light that is Jesus, or the angels, I’m not sure. Maybe it changes. Maybe its both.

what is freedom?

This is a guest post from my hubby, Randy. Great thoughts! Enjoy.

Today we celebrate 236 years of independence as a country. The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Eagle Wings by contemporary Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz

What is freedom?

Many great thinkers have tried to bring definition to freedom. Most have decided that freedom can only be defined by what it isn’t, by where the lines are drawn. Our legal definition of freedom, of independence, is that which emanates from our Creator. It emanates from God—it is a gift from God

Freedom is not the absence of restraint, nor is it doing whatever you please.

Freedom is the privilege and power to become all that God wants you to be.

Freedom is the opportunity to fulfill your potential to the glory of God.

Freedom is knowing that God has created us with tremendous potential. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Freedom is accepting that by living through and with Him “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

Freedom is not settling for less. David Crone from The Mission in Vacaville, CA compiled a list of decisions that define who they are. In fact they call them “Decisions that Define Us.” One of my favorites and one I have used at work is:

“We have decided that it is better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than succeed settling for less.”

Freedom is knowing the truth. In John 14:6, Jesus declares, “I am the way, the Truth and the life.”

Freedom is simply accepting God’s abundant Grace and Mercy:

“When I say… ‘I am a Christian’
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
who received God’s good grace, somehow”
Maya Angelou

“I thank God that I fear not” – Thomas Paine, 1776.

Question: What is freedom to you?

Happy Independence Day!

Randy
(Sue’s other half.)

Eagle Wings by contemporary Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz
Eagles Wings • DesignStudios-Inc.com

worshiping warriors

This painting is the first painting of people I have done in a gazillion years!

Childlike Worship by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

I feel so strongly that it is where the Lord is drawing us to. Worship like a child.

David dances to my mind. A man after God’s heart. And a man who worships, completely letting go of himself. One who danced with crazy passion before the Lord.

Moses. Whose face glowed with the light of heaven after worshiping God face to face.

Joshua, too. He loved to stay in the Tabernacle after Moses and everyone else had left. A simple love of being in the Lord’s presence.

And Jesus. He slipped away often to be in the presence of his Father. Adoration. Trust.

These are all exceptional, brilliant even, examples of worshiping.

And yet, for a season or longer, I think we are called to be childlike in our worship.

  • Simple.
  • Focused. On Him and Him alone.
  • Joyful. Spin, twirl, jump, dance.
  • Pure. Filled with Spirit and truth.

The painting is not of children worshiping. It is of us, worshiping like children. Totally abandoned to Him. I am confident that this is the warfare of our day.

Yes! Amen.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23-24

Question: What does your worship look like today?

Sue
Only believe!

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