Archive for the ‘ Jesus ’ Category

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

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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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a good marriage—closer than we think

Two joyful birds.

joyful birds by Sue Kemnitz

These little guys are part of a bigger painting I just finished. I love them! If I didn’t love the rest of the painting so much, they’d probably be my favorite part. But (humbly and thankfully) the rest of the painting is pretty fun. (Coming Monday…)

These little guys remind me of my marriage. We’ve been married…approx 34 years. (Give or take a year or two. He’s the numbers guy.)

How did 34 years of bliss happen? It’s always been pretty good, but not always bliss. Probably 12 years ago now, I made some conscious decisions.

  • Encourage. My son was dating a “needy” girl in high school. I looked at him one day and said, “Life is hard enough. Marry someone who will encourage you!” They are the ones that will call out the best and help you to become a way better person than you could have become otherwise. If we want to be encouraged, be an encourager.
  • Respect. Men, especially, thrive on respect. (Women on love.) So I always try to show respect, especially in front of others.
  • Love, no matter what. Jesus teaches us to love unconditionally. I don’t have to like everything he does, but I love him. Always.
  • Fast from criticism. I decided to say only good things. Really. Most of the time I succeed. Now, it hurts to hear others criticize their spouse. I work to keep the fast up.

What is a good way to start? We, Randy and I, make it a point to do the “little things” for each other. This is our list. Yours will look different.

  • Each morning, I bring his coffee to him, while he’s in the shower. It was so fun one day when I was out of town. “Sue, I miss you. I had to get my own coffee this morning.” It brought a smile to my face.
  • I always fold the socks. He hates folding socks. I view it as a challenge. Who made all those men’s socks look so similar! Arrgh!
  • He loves having the mail to look at first thing when he arrives home. So I make it a point to get it and put it right where it can be the first thing he sees. Again, I don’t get it, but if its important to him, its important to me.
  • I make a point of trying to look nice. And I brush my teeth before he gets home. Silly? Maybe. Mindy mentioned the “looking nice goal” at the Tuesday morning “Living Loved and Healthy” segment the other day. And I liked it! Admittedly, I’m not too good at the lipstick part.
  • My most recent addition to the list is to try to snuggle a bit before I get out of bed in the morning. Its just a good start to the day. For both of us.

He has a list he does for me, too. Last night he came home and I was (finally!) working on my painting. Paintbrush in mouth, I heard, “Do you want me to start supper?” Um. Supper. I forgot about supper again. He’s good to me!

My experience is that the big disagreements seem smaller when the little things are big. Jesus reminds us to forgive. Jesus reminds us of the power of love. Jesus reminds us to be joyful together.

So the little birdies remind me of our marriage. Encouraging, respectful, in love. And darn cute! A good marriage is closer than we think. It could be just a “little thing” away.

Question: What little things can you do today to make it a great day for them?

Sue
Only believe!

Join us for the next “Living Loved and Healthy,” Tuesday morning, July 10, 9:30am, at NewDay in New Prague.
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joy heals.

The higher truth—joy heals.

a joyful heart by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

John tells a story in John 5:2-9 of an invalid who lays by the pool of Bethesda.

“One man [among a multitude of invalids] was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’ And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.”

Jesus asks an odd question, “Do you want to be healed?” You would think the answer would be a simple “yes.” But the invalid gives a couple of excuses: “I have no one to put me into the pool…” “while I am going another steps down before me…” The first reason is actually stated in vs. 5. He’d been this way for 38 years. It’s the way its been for a long, long time.

How often do we sabotage ourselves? In Dawna DeSilva’s first message at “Shifting Atmospheres”, she mentioned that “familiar spirits” are the hardest. In other words, we become familiar, or used to, a situation, and we accept it as fact.

The invalid says:

  • There’s no one to help me.
  • Someone else deserves the healing more than I.
  • He’s been that way for as long as he can remember.

Jesus simply chooses to ignore the familiar excuses. He didn’t do the, “I think if you just…”

Pastor Doyal gave me a great insight on Sunday. I bruised a rib a couple weeks ago while gardening. Does anyone else jump on the shovel to get it into the hard soil? My rib, as I was leaning on the shovel handle and jumping on the bottom, was softer than the ground I was trying to break up. Indeed, the shovel got the best of me. What concerned me was that each day, it seemed to be getting worse. Was it becoming “familiar?” I kept expecting the healing, but where was it?

Doyal quoted Proverbs 17:22,“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” What I heard was the ending word, bones, and the beginning, “a joyful heart is good medicine.” Though I didn’t have a crushed spirit, I freely admit I was not living as positively as I could.

Since Sunday afternoon, I have been working on a joyful heart. As I become frustrated, I choose patience. When the critical spirit comes, I choose to encourage and bless. As I see challenges, I choose heavenly solutions. When negativity reared its head (all day!) on Monday, I chose to return to positivity. This keeps me in joy. The shovel won the battle, but I choose to win the war—with Jesus.

Each day, my rib now feels better and better. I am no different than you. Being joyful is a choice. I am determined—I will stay joyful. And here’s a revelation. Scripture works! It is the higher truth.

What are you agreeing with today? Is it a “familiar” spirit? What do you need to ignore? What will you choose instead?

Sue
Only believe!

Join us for the next “Shifting Atmospheres,” Monday evening, July 9, 7-9pm, at NewDay in New Prague.
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