Posts Tagged ‘ love ’

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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something greater

above by contemporary abstract artist Sue Kemnitz
Jesus continually amazes and delights me—His radical love for us.

On any average day, He turned thought patterns by 180 degrees. Having respect for the law and those in authority, He more often than not had little respect for their interpretation. Jesus show-cased “the greater…”

Take Matthew 12 for example.

One Sabbath, Jesus and the boys were out for a stroll in the grain fields, the disciples were hungry and stopped for a bite. A little grain on the side of the road, regardless of the day of the week it was. Jesus ruffled the proverbial pharisaical feathers when He did not take them to task for harvesting on the holy day.  The disciples were hungry, after all. Jesus let them eat. Jesus shows Himself to be the merciful one, the compassionate one. He wanted them nourished. (Did He also lead them to eat?)

Something greater….

As Jesus looked up, He spotted a man whose hand was crippled. It’s possible that He did not as much see a crippled hand, but saw a whole and healthy hand, and so was surprised by the pharisees question—whether or not to heal on the Sabbath. The answer He gave was brilliant. Who would not help a sheep that had fallen? Jesus, the tenderhearted shepherd, would of course restore one of His sheep, regardless of the day. It is the second bullet point in His job description, “destroying the works of the enemy,” and comes right after “love”.

Something greater…

And now, under attack, He escapes to pray. Jesus heads for the Fathers presence. To say thank you. To praise Him. To gather in the love of the Father. The perfect Sabbath activity. Though the other sheep follow—and they are all healed.

Something greater…

Think and re-think. Can we turn our thoughts and actions to be more merciful, gracious, and tenderhearted? I am the first in line…

His love and abundant blessings to all!

Sue
Only believe.

Please click “like” if you like! And, pass this on! Spread the word of His goodness!

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showered in love

The disciples and Jesus are relaxing at what we now know is the last dinner before the great and terrible day. They enjoy some good wine and fabulous food. The Father had prepared the place and time precisely. What’s important to Jesus, to share at this last gathering? (John 13:1-20)

Epiphany painting by minnesota comtemporary artist Sue Kemnitz
Thomas is munching on some fruit, “Andrew, did you see Jesus put his thumbs in that guys eyes? Imagine what it feels like to see your mother and father for the very first time!” Peter pipes in further down the table, “Hey John, the lame guy will need to walk places now!” While James engages Thomas, “I know – I thought fire and brimstone would be best for that city, but I guess I’m still learning,” There is no lack of stories, excitement, or laughter at the table. In fact, some evenings, they try to one-up each other. The stories are all so good!

They all turn and look as Jesus gets up from the table, rolls up His sleeves, and ties a towel about His waist. He pours water in a basin and sits at Peter’s feet. Peter is uncomfortable and gives Jesus “the look” as he challenges Him. But, as always, Jesus has His way. One by one, not to be hurried, He washes their feet.

It gives Him a chance to focus on each man.

* To touch, as we only can while on the earth.
* To connect, hands and feet.
* To look deep into their eyes. Although He may start in silence, to let it all sink in, He may also quietly share what He loves about each of them; Peter – his passion and zeal. James – willing to do anything, a keen sense of justice. John – who knows the depth of love. Thomas – wanting to die with Jesus. And the others.

One last intimate moment.

Yes, its about many things. Its a teaching moment, as Jesus continues to share with them afterwards. But in His eternal wisdom, its also one last time for their hearts to be one with Him, just as Jesus and the Father’s heart are one. Its a time that not one of them will forget in the incredible days ahead.

A few years back, I had the honor of caring for my sister while she was recovering from surgery. I fixed her meals, read to her, opened the shades and let the sun in. Thinking back, it was a opportunity to be very close. To connect hands and feet.

Close, personal, and loving. His heart is to always to draw near to us. Sometimes we need to just let Him shower us with love.

And the requirements to pass this on to others? Often just a bit of time and a love that passes understanding.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35.

When do you feel close to Jesus? Have you let Him wash your feet lately? Have you washed others’ feet lately?

• • •  Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing. To be held at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Click here for more information and to register! Maybe we’ll draw feet—though unlikely…

Sue
Only believe.

Please click “like” if you like! And, pass this on! Spread the word of His goodness!

To purchase the art above, visit: DesignStudios-Inc.com
RevivalArtists.comCFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

Alleluia!

Alleluia by contemporary artist Sue Kemnitz

…she turned when she heard Him say her name, “Mary.”
She knew it was Jesus as she saw the incredible love in His eyes—
that He would die to bring her into eternal life with Him. Forever!

Alleluia! He is alive!

Share the Good News of a glorious Easter! Forward this to someone you know!

• • •  Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing. To be held at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Click here for more information and to register!

Sue
Only believe.

DesignStudios-Inc.comRevivalArtists.com
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

drawn to the dance

Jesus knows all the dances – and loves them all! Almost as much as He loves us.
dancing with Jesus
On March 1, I drew a small sketch of Jesus dancing in my sketchbook. It takes place in heavenly realms, though planet earth would be a good spot, too! It is a dance—with us. The Lord asked me to share this vision and so I replicated it yesterday during worship. Know that He knows all the dances. So be free to pick your favorite, whether polka, waltz, or hip-hop.

From early March, I believe that Jesus was, and still is, drawing us closer. He is drawing us to that intimate spot where we forget all the distractions and just focus on Him. A place where we can hear His heart beat and feel His warmth. A place not only of refuge and strength, but even deeper. A place of pure love—where ultimately we feel His joy. A place that David, a man after His heart, and Mary on her knees, anointing His feet with precious perfume, frequented.

Jesus beckons us in Psalm 27:

  • “… dwell in My house all the days of your life, gaze upon My beauty and inquire of Me in My temple.” (vs 4) Gazing and inquiring. Ask anything. Admittedly, sometimes I forget to ask because He is so captivating!
  • “Seek My face.” My heart says to You, “Your face, Jesus, do I seek.” (vs 8) Look deep into His eyes with a heart that seeks the depths.
  • “I will teach you My ways and lead you.” (vs 11) And with encouragement!
  • “…look upon My goodness in the land of the living!” (vs 13) Just as the Lord made His goodness pass before Moses (Ex 33), He will cause us His goodness to pass before us, too.
  • “Wait for Me; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for Me!” (vs 14) His promise is that in the waiting, we will not be disappointed. Though it may seem long, He will not be slow.

I love to sit and soak and simply enjoy Jesus. We walk. Sometimes we talk and sometimes we don’t. This morning I rode on the handle-bars of his bike. (Images of the Sun Dance Kid come to mind. Hard to believe, but Jesus is even more handsome!)

And sometimes we dance. Twirl or close-up. I love to let Him lead.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love…that your joy may be full.” John 15:9, 11

Question: When do you feel closest to Jesus? Please comment, and please pass this blog along.

• • •  Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing. At NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Click here for more information and to register!

The winner of the (almost) bi-monthly give-away is frequent commenter Cindy! She will receive a set of note cards with beautiful (no bias, of course) artwork on them. At the end of May, the next winner will receive a necklace, with art, of course!* Watch for the special edition necklaces that will be available at the “All In” conference.

Sue
Only believe.

DesignStudios-Inc.comRevivalArtists.com
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

*Winner is based on number of comments posted during each give-away time frame. Each winner may only win once a year. Prizes can be shipped internationally for a fee.

Growing in favor

Jesus grew in favor.

Light of LIfe

In Luke 2:41ff Joseph and Mary take the kiddos to Jerusalem for Passover, a yearly tradition for the family. They remembered, worshiped, and celebrated. Within the tradition, Joseph taught Jesus and the boys faithfulness. After the feast and the festival, Joseph, Mary and most of the family packed up and left, along with the extended family and the entire neighborhood.

While on their donkeys the next day, Joseph leans over and says, “Mary, do you think Jesus had a good time?” Mary replies, “Why don’t you ask him,” and then, to their dismay, no one can find Jesus! They spend the evening checking in with all the relatives and neighbors to see if he’s hanging out with the cousins. Nope. They head back to Jerusalem. And then spend an entire day looking for Jesus, only to find him in the Temple; asking questions, learning from the scholars, and listening to the Father.

When Mary and Joseph found him, it was Jesus who asked the question of the day…”Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Vs. 49) Implied in this innocent question is, “You know me well enough to know that I love being in my Father’s presence.” A discipline Jesus enjoyed way before the annual trip to the Temple. It was a favorite pastime, when Jesus was 12—and when he was 30. He may not have even realized his parents had left.

This question also emphasizes a new season, turning from his father’s house to his Father’s house. Knowing he is the Son of God, staying pure and obedient—there is nothing more important than feasting on the Words and ways of the Father. Being intentional about learning from those more knowledgeable, and listening to Holy Spirit. In other words, preparing for a life of ministry.

“And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (vs. 47). Jesus sought the teachers, listened, learned, gained understanding, and discussed respectfully.

Mary was at first anxious, as we would all be, but as she looked into the loving eyes of her son, she realized, indeed, Jesus was just about his Fathers business—another tidbit to ponder and the beginning of a turning that two decades later, Mary herself brought to completion (as Jesus turns water to wine).

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (vs. 52). He grew in wisdom, becoming spiritually attuned to the Father. He was human, so literally grew in stature. And favor, with God and man. He was pleasing in the sight and heart of both His heavenly and earthly buddies. Two thousand years later, we still seek Him.

At the end of this, I want to look into His eyes and see that incredible love. I want to be in His presence. I want to grow in favor. Thankfully, I can do all three.

Three things I ask of you. Reflect. Comment. And pass this on…

• • •  Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Click here for more information and to register!

Sue
Only believe.

DesignStudios-Inc.comRevivalArtists.com
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

Ramblings of a revival artist

God never gives us a task, without equipping us to do it. (Really!)

Peace by Sue Kemnitz
“Now may the God of peace … equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21

It is His great pleasure to enjoy the journey with us. He works with us, and through us; and in the end, it is for His glory. Isn’t it grand when we get to stand at His side and say, “Lookie what we did! Isn’t He the coolest? The very, very best!” The harder the task, the greater we feel on that day. We praise you Jesus!

How does that look in my world? How does it look to be equipped to do His will? In and through art.

  1. Does it mean that I have done all that I can do to make a piece the very best it can be?
  2. Or does it mean that I’ve consulted with Holy Spirit?
  3. In every moment?

In that order:

  1. Yes, maybe.
  2. Yes, maybe.
  3. Um, probably not. Just being truthful…

Often, more time is spent picking the supreme color that will do the perfect job at the perfect moment.

All I know for absolute sure is that I absolutely must turn every decision over to Him. Ask Him and listen to what He says. Does my inner voice have a say? Does that voice sound similar to Jesus’s voice? In all probability—sometimes yes and sometimes no. Obviously, I don’t have all the solutions. Nor, in retrospect, have I been perfect, or even a teeny bit close. However, I know He “works in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus” and it is important to remember that He is pleased with us along the way on the journey. The key is to be on the journey.

The piece of art today was done just a little bit ago. Usually I plan my art. Not every detail, but yet, pretty planned. This piece is different. There is a heart underneath it. And I asked Holy Spirit which color to paint when. I love the piece, and yet, I don’t think that I could do every piece like this. I still think it is ok to invite Him in, to plan, to plot, and then to paint.

What to name this art, and perhaps the journey, too? Though there doesn’t seem to be an explanation that I know of to like the name, “peace” or perhaps, “pieces of peace.” It is true that even in the midst of anything and everything, He is peace. And we must live from that place. I do hope that it is pleasing in His sight. That that which He worked in me pleases Him. And that it came to be through Jesus.

And subsequently, so He will be glorified.

It’s not a redwood tree, or a star, only He can create with that magnitude. It’s just a piece of me and a peace of Him. Pleasing in His sight.

• • • Please join us for an Afternoon Adventure. In Art. And Writing at NewDay Church in New Prague (MN). April 22, 2012 from  1-4 pm. Mark your calendars – more info to come!

Sue
Only believe.

Peace by Sue Kemnitz

Pieces of Peace

DesignStudios-Inc.comRevivalArtists.com
CFAI.coDaily Painters of MinnesotaInternational Abstract Artists

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