Archive for the ‘ glory ’ Category

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

be a lamb

Truth be told, I didn’t like being a sheep very much, and now, here in Luke 10:3, Jesus says, “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

abstract dove by contemporary artist sue kemnitz

So – are you ready for the journey? Are your furry curls in place? Flip-flops on your hooves? A lamb? Really? As I thought about this, I pictured me as a lamb. Innocent, defenseless, prone to distraction and wandering off on my own, and naive. Yes – in reality – that often sums me up. And what’s that up ahead? A pack of mean-spirited, drool-y, big-fanged, sharp-clawed wolves. Yikes!

However, there is Truth. And that is, “…Christ in me, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

What does this means in us?

  • There’s a King inside of me. The brilliant morning Star! Able to do anything and Who can provide all we need.
  • Victory is inside of me because the One who is victorious lives inside of me. We’ve read the end of the book. Jesus wins the age. For eternity.
  • The One in whom is all patience, kindness, gentleness, joy, and yes, even self-control is inside. These are the characteristics we have inherited!
  • I am held up by His strong right hand. “(It) shimmers with power and shatters the enemy.” (Ex. 15, The Message)
  • The strong mighty warrior is inside of me. Even on His white stallion!

Indeed, we can be a lamb because the lion of Judah lives inside of us and is in disguise.

Yesterday, Pastor Doyal gave me the honor of teaching for a few minutes in front of church, of which this post was part of. I woke up shaking. Not a great feeling, but real. Then I realized that I didn’t have to accept that shaking as fear. I chose to believe it was the Holy Spirit in me. And often, that feels like electricity and shaking! Thanks, Jesus!

Focus on Who is inside.Then we can be content to be a lamb. Fully dependent on the One who can fully do it all and be all!

Earlier in Colossians 1:27 it mentions, “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Picture the riches. All He brings and grows inside of us. It’s a mystery and its good!

When you, as a lamb, look in the mirror today, Who is looking back?

Sue
Only believe.

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two-way conversation

“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray,healing hope bird by Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz …and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:12-16

Prayer. I have always like the idea of prayer. Especially the “ask and you shall receive” part. I want every prayer to be answered. According to God’s will. Yes, I have seen prayers answered, but I want more prayers answered.

Jesus went to the mountain to pray. He wanted to be alone with Poppa God. Just the two of them, quality time with Poppa. Jesus had a specific conversation topic that evening: the disciples. Who will they be?.

I remember in college we “pulled all-nighters,” which usually meant a paper was due or there was a test to study for. Jesus, however, pulled on God—an all-nighter to be with Poppa and to seek His advice.

How does an all-night prayer start? The gates of His courts are praise. This was emphasized to me poignantly this past Saturday at the Healing Rooms. Pastor Daniel from Kenya stopped by. We asked him for a blessing for the team. He started in song. Literally praising the Lord. “You are worthy. You are Holy!” Words can’t describe his song. It was to God and was as if we weren’t in the room. I assure you, it opened the heavens! And His presence fell in our midst. Oh, that we would start each and every prayer in total praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord and Him alone!

Jesus set aside the entire night for prayer. How long did worship and adoration last? How long would we?

Once in Poppa’s presence, He quieted His mind and settled on the subject at hand. Who, Poppa God, are my closest companions here on the earth to be? Did they discuss the different characteristics and what would be needed? Or did they select based on zeal and passion? Or the capacity to listen and learn? What did each one bring that no one else could?

  • Simon. Whom he named Peter. The Father may have shown Jesus. Passionate. The rock. Someone ready to jump in and do anything.
  • Andrew. The brother of Peter. The quieter one. Liked the background.
  • James and John. A second set of brothers. Prone to justice. Like front-row seats. And a tad impetuous..
  • Philip. From the same town as Peter and Andrew. Perhaps friends of James and John.
  • Matthew. A tax collecter? He could chart the days travels, since he would know the area well. Thomas. Always wanting to check everything out.
  • Yet another James. (There’s too many Mary’s for me, too…)
  • Simon, the Zealot. The Zealots were radically opposed to Roman rule. So his frequent question may have been, when’s the rest of the army coming, Jesus. Let’s finish these guys off and get to the ruling part!
  • Judas. “Are you certain, Poppa?”

Jesus came into His courts. And the Father was pleased to pause and show Jesus what He saw in each disciple. A view from the heavenly perspective.

They took all night to chat and to joyfully explore. Prayer was conversation. Laughter filled. Many smiles back and forth. Purposeful. Intentional. And an eagerness to hear the next word from Poppa.

That’s what I want my prayer life to be. Intimate. Loving. Joy filled. And to come to morning, after a night of prayer, with resolution.

Closure. Until the next conversation. It’s not a test. Or is it?

Sue
Only believe.

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healing hope bird by Minnesota artist Sue Kemnitz

Please say a prayer for Austin, to whom this painting is going. Its a “Healing Hope Bird.”

perfect love

Mysteries revealed! Don’t you love mysteries revealed?

contemporary painting Epiphany by Sue Kemnitz

“…the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed…how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col 2:26-27

The Mystery revealed is not what. It is Who. Christ Jesus has been revealed, and where do we see Him? Living in us! The Perfect Love dwells, lives, in us. The hope of glory. Lives in us.

The amazing revelation is that, I believe the Gentiles that Paul is referring to here are the pre-believers of his day. And it is Paul’s mission to reveal to them that Christ dwells in them! That is amazing! Until now, I read, “He included us, those of us who have chosen Him.” But I think there’s a deeper message here. A deeper calling. Remember? He chose us first.

When we were in Haiti last year, my prayer partner and I met up with two young men, drunk as skunks. One of them was pretty sure that Jesus was not alive. And he spent a good twenty minutes challenging us. Every point we presented, every scripture, he threw right back at us, challenging and sure of himself. In exasperation, I finally said, hold out your hands, palms up. I placed my hands palm down over his, but not touching. My prayer was simple, “Lord, touch him.” and the Lord showed up. Mightily. Electricity flowed through his body. He was shaking from head to foot. He could no longer deny a loving, living, powerful Jesus.

Words are good. Indeed, His Word is powerful! But sometimes, perhaps even often, Presence is better.

Our mission? Reveal “Christ in us, the hope of glory” to the “Gentiles” amongst us. The holes in pre-believers are to be filled with Him. Jesus is the Perfect Love that perfectly fills that hole.

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Col 2:28-29

Ask the Lord—”Who is my mission?” Jot a prayer for them by Commenting. We’ll pray alongside you, praying him or her into the Kingdom!

Sue
Only Believe.

contemporary painting Epiphany by Sue Kemnitz

This little panel “Epiphany” is a pre-painting for a larger painting…stay tuned!

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Want to read about the upcoming Haiti trip? Click here!

Jesus shines

rising to setting

from rising to setting

This painting was finished for a Children’s Palliative Care Community fundraiser last week. I emailed Mindy, the organizer, the day before because the Lord had put this verse in front of me:

“The Mighty One, God the LORD,
   speaks and summons the earth
   from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.” Ps. 50:1-2

There are various thoughts that the Lord brings to mind as I read through this Psalm, but this morning, the last line is speaking. How many ways does Jesus shine, especially in this season?

Jesus shines love. Unconditional and steadfast. Eternal.

Jesus shines grace. Unmerited favor. Keep walking in it.

Jesus shines joy. Picture Him smiling on and at you today.

Jesus shines mercy. For us all, thank you, Jesus!

Jesus shines forgiveness. Keeping us from the enemy’s taunts and trials.

Jesus shines faith. Knowing the Father always answers prayer.

Jesus shines hope. For the better. For the best.

Jesus shines peace. Beyond understanding.

Jesus shines. There is always more.

The amazing thing is He shines through us! Yup – we are Zion. Zion not only applies to His land, but also to His people. He made us to be the “perfection of beauty.” Think on that for awhile. As you gaze at the lights this season, think of Him. Shining. Remember, to shine Him. And thank Him—for His wonderfulness!

He is Good News!

Sue
Only believe.

Glory!

hidden_sKemnitz

"hidden"

I woke up Sunday morning at 4:44. As I usually do when I wake up early in the “late” morning (too early to get up and too late to get back to sleep), I let scripture float through my mind, tell Jesus how much I love Him, and pray. Not everyone would like this early-late-morning time, but I love it. I could stay there all day, to tell you the truth. A while later, I thought of getting up and looked at the clock. It was 5:55. Now I’m not really a number person, but this was pretty darn cool.

I decided to check out some scripture once I did get up and here’s what I found in Ezekial 4:44. “Then He brought me by way of the North Gate to the front of the house, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord and I fell on my face.” Is that a marvelous verse? Yes! Indeed!

Just the evening before, I learned that the North Gate can refer to an entrance to the unknown of the God. An entrance where man can go back and forth, between here and There. A divine portal. So this is a prayer of mine, starting now. Lord – bring us to the place where we can look and see you and your ways and behold Your Glory. A Glory like none other. In Your house. Or mine.

Sign me up. Beam me up. Raise me up. For Your purposes. Thank you, Jesus!

I hope you see me soon with a scraped up nose… I’ll have a big smile on! Ü

May God bless you, too, with a glimpse of His Glory!
Sue
Only Believe!