grace in disappointment

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 100:1

doodling acts 4 - great grace

Gliding over the start of this Psalm to the Lord, this seems an easy task. After all, His joy is our strength. It is a great day, rejoice in it. (Rejoice = joy multiplied. -Kris V) His joy is in us. You get the picture.

But what about disappointment? What then? There are real troubles on this earth. Children grow up and go their way. There’s crabby people in stores. A day of pouring rain when I have Iris’s to plant. (I obviously live in a cushie world…)

I would suggest to you that this is exactly where we get to rise and shine. How do we as peeps of God respond?

Ryan and Sara Hall were on Bethel.tv this past weekend. They actually were the sermon. Fun! Ryan ran in the last Olympics—a marathon none-the-less!—and Sara did not. They still held the celebration party for Sara. This was my take-away. Of course there are disappointments. We get to choose. Sulk or smile. Rejoice or crab. Pray and release or harden our heart. Kill joy or spread even more joy.

The beginning of Acts 4 starts with two fishermen speaking boldly of Jesus. I somehow don’t see fishermen as having the gift of gab, but I could be wrong. Then they get arrested. Then they are asked to muffle it. Then they ask for even more boldness. Then they prayed, and the earth shook. Could it be the earth was pleasantly surprised at their response?

Then they give testimony of Jesus and grace covered them.

I stopped at the grocery store early this morning. The checkout lady looked uncomfortable and just plain crabby. I smiled and asked if I could release Jesus’ healing on her. She said, “No.” No? I told her how He loved her and left. Trying not to shake my head as I left the store. The No’s still surprise me.

My job? Shake the dust off my feet. Ask for more boldness. And I asked the Lord to bless her Abundantly! In whatever makes her happy. And in Him. Bring a smile to her face.

And the Lord covers us with grace and the comforter. Oh happy day.

And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

Could it be the earth was pleasantly surprised at their response?

sue
Only believe!

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doodling acts 4 - great grace
Chapter 4 of Doodling Acts – Join me!

like a rushing wind

Acts 2 Holy Spirit by Sue Kemnitzlike a rushing wind

Once again, I am reading through the book of Acts. And I thought, this time, how it might be fun (a.k.a. challenging) to sketch the book of Acts. I’d love to have people join me in this adventure. So – you artists out there – pick up your sketchbooks and pencils, or clay, or dance, or guitar and lets creatively do the book of Acts.  Jump in! What will the Lord think? The sketch I started with yesterday is posted on Facebook.

“And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2

Have you ever seen this happen? We were at Jesus Culture last summer in Chicago and they showed videos of some of Reinhard Bonnke’s African meetings. There were thousands upon thousands of people there. What moved me the most was when Bonnke drew his arm across in front of him, and a wave of the Holy Spirit hit the crowd. Just like a wave at a football game, only better, the entire crowd went down under the weight and breath of the Holy Spirit.

That’s a Wow with a capital W.

I believe it is intimacy with Jesus that enables the mighty, might wind of the Spirit to blow through a place. Just like Acts 1 and 2. They knew Him. They knew His promise to send the Holy Spirit. They gathered. They worshiped. They prayed. They persevered.

Lets do it. Lets worship with childlike excitement. Lets pray with expectancy. Lets partner with Him and create. Lets keep it up until it happens!

What will the Lord do? What do you think?

Only believe!

Sue

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two cents

“I confidently walk in the room.

I had taken care that morning to make sure my garment was clean and brilliantly white. My hair combed and pulled up so as not to attract attention. My face, hands, and especially my feet were scrupulously scrubbed and my sandals had no stray threads. I’m so eager to see my friends and my God.

“As I passed the offering box, I threw in everything I had. Both of the copper coins. I was exuberant that I had coins to offer. Last week I just had a few seeds I had plucked on the edge of the field, left behind by generous land owners. I whispered to the coins, “Multiply!” right before I threw them in. I know my God will do it. He can do anything.

“There’s Jesus! He warms my heart. And then there’s His eyes. They burn right through me and let me know how loved I am. Very loved! He smiles with understanding as I toss my coins in. He has drawn me in and captured me for life. Just like His disciples. There’s more than meets the eye. He is love.”

As I re-read the story of the woman with the two small copper coins, I can’t help but re-enact that scene in my imagination. Is the woman hesitant or confident? Does she cower in her “poor-ness” or is she thankful for what she has? Does she have worry lines or smile lines?

Because Jesus loves her heart, I go with confident and thankful. Because she gives everything. Because she’s totally in love. Because she’s who God made her to be, the image of Jesus.

How’s your image today? Need to remind yourself of who you are in Him? Throw your two cents in–proudly.

“And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:42-44

Sue
Only believe.

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blue appliances

What could blue appliances and healing the sick possibly have in common?

1950s retro stove

As I was preparing for the message last week, my attention kept wandering to my new Atomic Ranch magazine (atomic-ranch.com). I was frankly a bit disappointed in the mag because I had hoped it would be fun contemporary house ideas and instead it is more about returning 1950’s ranch-style homes to their former glory. Oh well… I still like looking at the pictures.

As I reigned my mind back in, I said, “Lord, what are you telling me?” The blue appliances (available at bigchill.com) and blue cars stuck out in my mind. And then the 1950’s date. Blue can be symbolic of revelation. So I Googled “Spiritual happenings in the 1950’s” eager to see what or who the Lord wanted to show me. I found a few names: William Branham, Jack Coe, and A.A. Allen. How fun is this? I love it when God talks like this!

William Branham was a powerful healing evangelist, traveling and speaking across the U.S. and attracting thousands to his meetings. He had a huge bright angel that traveled with him. There was also this picture which is currently archived in the Library of Congress. See the halo? That’s not a halo of glitter and cardboard. It’s a supernatural godly halo!

William Branham

The Lord would also give Branham visions of car wrecks and people on their deathbeds and then lead Branham into the scenarios, giving him the address or location. He started Voice of Healing, a magazine that chronicled the revival of the 40’s and 50’s. Yes – he had issues later on. Just like you and me. (That’s why community is good. To replace/displace our issues with the character of Jesus.)

I think the Lord led me through all of this as a reminder of what we can carry as we turn our hearts to the Lord. There is so much more! How to tap in?

  • Spend time with Jesus. Pick a time of day to focus on Him and to ask Him what He wants to accomplish.
  • Pray for opportunities. I did this last night before a meeting and ended up sitting close to a lady whose back was incredibly tender. We went outside, I gently put my hand on her back and prayed for her. She felt tingling as Jesus brought relief. Thank you, Jesus! (She was not walking like all the pain was gone, so I need to check in with her this morning and maybe pray again.) When we went back to the table, the lady on the other side of me asked, “Did you give her an adjustment?” I smiled, “No, just Jesus.”
  • Start with thanksgiving and praise and end with thanksgiving and praise.
  • Be yourself! Sometimes its awkward to spend time in public in prayer. Be encouraged with Graham Cooke’s words, “Its always awkward, so you might as well have fun with it.”
  • Be persistent. Don’t give up. I’m grateful that Heidi Baker shares that she prayed for 200 deaf people before the first one was healed.

“Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “ Luke 10:8

Interestingly, my fire alarm just went off three times. God is so fun! What do you think that means???

(This is part 3 of 3 about Luke 10:1-20 that we talked about on Sunday at NewDay. Did you miss Luke 10:3? Click here… or Click here for Luke 10:4.)

Sue
Only believe.

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leave it behind

Bring faith. Bring confidence. Bring Jesus. Expect adventure. Leave the rest behind.

sketch by contemporary abstract artist s kemnitz

“Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.” Luke 10:4

Faith is having confidence in His promises. It “is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 It can’t be earned. It is a choice. You simply bring it. Really. Bring faith. It is earth, so sometimes you need to brush off the “Why didn’t…” and read the verse again.

Jesus didn’t hesitate. When He thanked the Father for the five loaves and two fish, how many people were fed? Without portion control. When Jesus stretched out His hand to heal, what happened? When Jesus looked Legion in the eyes, and told the demons to leave. They not only left, they jumped over the cliff and were dashed on the rocks below.

That is what we are to be about. Confidently doing the when part. Bring confidence.

We had an amazing testimony the last evening of class (visit NDSSM). Heidi was prompted by the Lord to give a $1,000 check to a specific person. She mumbled and whined a bit (sounds just like me!), but did finally do it. It was puzzling to the person she gave it to. No immediate need there. He was in the final stages of writing a book and had submitted it to Thomas Nelson Publishers. (I hope I have that right. I think I do.) Within two weeks, the publisher contacted her friend and said, “if you can invest $1,000 in your book, we will publish and publicize it.” That is huge! Wow! That’s our God at work! Bring adventure.

I had a dream a while back and when I put my hand, filled with the power of Jesus, on a powerful Godly man’s chest, he was filled with even more of the power of God. Only in a dream would I have approached a man of this stature and laid hands on him. When we pray, the power of Jesus flows through us. Take a bit of time to study your hands today. Do you see Jesus in them? See the scars that empower us to continue His work? Bring Jesus.

Forget the extra pair of flip-flops, the purse with lip gloss, and your credit cards. Keep your shoulders open for Holy Spirit to travel on you. And don’t get distracted by friends, even well-meaning friends, along the way! Bring the important stuff, faith, confidence, and Jesus. Expect adventure.

What could distract you today?

(This is a continuation of Luke 10:1-20 that we talked about on Sunday. Did you miss Luke 10:1? Click here…)

Sue
Only believe.

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sketch by contemporary abstract artist s kemnitz

This sketch is a commission for an unborn child. I’m not sure this is the finished product – but fun to give you a glimpse, my faithful followers. The name is Crowned with Love. How delightful is this—what an honor!

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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His good pleasure

Sometimes Jesus totally blows me away with His goodness. And then, every now and again, He seems to just wink out of the corner of His eye. He makes my heart do a little leap for joy. I can see my good friend Cara smiling, “Pure Joy.

Bird and Calla Painting by Sue Kemnitz

This happened in California recently. As you know, Callas have been frequently in my thoughts, sketches, and paintings. The fields were blooming with Calla Lillies in Mendicino. Astonishing, fascinating, and beautiful. The flowers, as well as the trees, seemed on steroids there. Huge! The whites were pure. The sun shining through the petals, sublime. (I like that word…) and the portion of the flower that makes the “cup” had breathtaking color. No kidding! I could not stop staring and admiring Jesus who created such beauty!

One afternoon we walked from our cottage at the Glendeven Inn to the main lobby for a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres. (I do not like that word. Too weird! Its the French, I suspect.) Passing by some of the Calla’s, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it just be so cool to see a bird sitting on one of them. So, I am certain you already know what happened. The very next morning, as we walked by the exact same flower on our way to the headlands, there was a bird, sitting on that exact flower.

He, Jesus, simply makes me smile. He knows our thoughts. He knows what brings us pleasure. He’s more than we can ask or imagine.

“Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. ‘Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ ” Luke 12:31-32

Fear not, little flock, it is the Father’s good pleasure to bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. Jesus!

Sue
Only believe.

By the way – just a little trivia. Calla’s are not part of the genus of lily’s. They were mistakenly called that once upon a time, and the title stuck. Because of their trumpet shape, they are symbolic of victory.

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• • • Join my daughter, Jessica, and I at our first ever joint Art Reception at the
Ring Mountain Creamery in Eagan, MN.
Sunday, June 3, 2-5pm. We would love to see you there!!!

This sweetie has found a new home! So excited!

Bird and Calla Painting by Sue Kemnitz