Monday, February 29, 2016

Sculpting with wet toilet paper!

Who knew you could make a face with wet toilet paper????

Friday, February 26, 2016

Proverbs 4:1-5

copyright 2016 Lisa Albinus


A Father's Wise Instruction

Hear, O sons, a father's instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gain[a] insight,
for I give you good precepts;
    do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
    tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
I know this scripture takes us to the Father’s heart and the sweetest spot of intimacy between child and mother.  The moments when the world goes away and you just breath in the sweetness and the essence of the miracle of your children.   Yes, Lord….we must not forget and we pray that our children don’t forget.
I want to take this scripture to the intimacy that I share with God.  For me it is in the mornings before the house wakes up and the activity level rises. In the quiet of the morning, I sit with Him and I listen and write, study and repent. I am attentive for His precepts  and I gain insights- precious jewels that are laid out for me.   I am the only one in sight of this Lady called “Wisdom” as I acquaint myself with her ways and ingest her teachings.  A tender time of intimacy with our Father.
In the evenings I listen to the Bible being read.  I wake with Him and I go to sleep with Him, searching, praying for a higher perspective.
And then, there is that person that is driving sooooooooooo slow in front of me!  Really?  Through clenched teeth I have been heard to say, “Bless them Lord!!  Bless them!!! Thank you for this opportunity to practice...... my........grrrrrrrrr......... patience.” <sigh> I am reminded a thousand times a day of my humanness.
This scripture today, for me, takes me back to the quiet of my mornings and the intentionality of my evenings where my focus in God. My prayer over the course of this study is that I would carry more of His presence for longer periods during my day. That my “flesh trigger” would become smaller and smaller and my “grace button” would fire easily.
Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Lord, I pray that all of us would delight in Your teachings and that they would be written on our hearts, so that Your Holy Spirit can remind us throughout the day who we are, whose we are and that we wo operate out of this identity. 

Never Alone

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Proverbs 3:32-35

Day Four
32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
    but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Toward the scorners he is scornful,
    but to the humble he gives favor.[c]
35 The wise will inherit honor,
    but fools get[d] disgrace.

There are six things that are an abomination to the Lord:
·      Eyes that are arrogant
·      A tongue that lies
·      Hands that murder the innocent
·      A heart that hatches evil plots
·      Feet that race down a wicked path
·      A mouth that lies under oath
·      A troublemaker in the family
To walk with Wisdom seems to be a constant state of checks and balances…”Did I handle that situation the best I could have?” “Could I have offered more grace?” “Did I love them well?” Reading the Word, digesting these precepts and keeping them written on the tablets of our hearts.
To gain control over our eyes, tongue, hands, heart and feet.  I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed at times with how quickly I forget these precepts and how quick my tongue is to speak in anger, how my spirit is prone to complaining- rather than edifying.  This thing we have set out to do, this Holy Obedience is no small task! Do you feel it?  It is a constant battle with the flesh. In this fallen world it is easier to simmer in our fleshy attributes.  Anger, jealousy, control, No one has to stop and take a breath and say,  “I’m just counting to ten here so I can speak in absolute anger, criticism and sarcasm....” No!!  Anger flies out of us, criticism is our nature, white lies make the day easier, complaining is comfortable. 
This thing we are doing is a task most noble.
And at times I just feel like I am failing miserably at it.
But, I think we press on. Our sweet Jesus meets us where we are  and encourages streams of life out of us. 
What does that mean in my day to day? I always have a choice, moment by moment to operate out of God’s economy or the World’s economy.   I have a thousand, million chances each day to get it right.
Thank you God for this handbook of living that we begin to digest and delve into.  Thank you for your eternal patience as we strive to inhabit more of the heavenly realms and less of the flesh. Help us all today to “get it right” more than we get it wrong.

Loved by the King of Kings

Check out the Daily Devo here:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Proverbs 3:28-31 It's Not Easy!!

I love The message’s version of our scriptures for today:
"Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
    when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.30-32 Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder, always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
    Why be a bully?
“Why not?” you say. Because God can’t stand twisted souls.
    It’s the straightforward who get his respect."
I find it difficult to write of these words in scripture, because I would hope that none of us are doing these things, knowingly.  So, I find myself going before the Lord and asking Him, “How would this look, if we weren’t aware of what we were doing?”
To “take advantage” is to put ourselves in a superior position.  I don’t think we are ever meant to inhabit the throne of superiority.  How do you navigate an environment of productivity, while encouraging personal growth?  In your ministries, in your small groups?  It is hard to lead with a compassionate heart coupled with a heart that allows others to explode into their God-given destinies, while maintaining a humble, contrite heart- AND still moving forward!  He calls us to a tightrope, with grace as our catching net.  So, to not take advantage of each other, in our day to day.  To encourage and build up is the key I think- as hearts struggling to get it right in a fallen world.

Don’t walk around looking for a fight. What could this look like? We all have buttons that get pushed and the enemy knows our triggers far better than we do.  Do you find yourself irritated, lashing out – and not sure why?  I would offer that the enemy used your trigger and stomped on your last nerve.  Slow down.  Take account of what you are feeling and what is going on around you as the irritation builds. Don’t speak in anger and don’t lash out. Wait. Pray. Listen.  What is the Lord telling you about….You?  About your triggers?  The Lord is so gracious that He provides us with so many opportunities to houseclean our own hearts – we  simply couldn’t have time to look into anyone else’s for malignancy!!   My heart is my full time job.

Don’t be a bully.  As women I think we can bully through controlling natures. To micromanage and to force our way into all we do. Again, a tightrope with grace as our catching net. To allow others to flourish and bloom through a servant’s heart- while moving forward and serving the King. Not an easy road to haul.  Not an easy road when you are in a position of authority.  How do we maintain a nurturing environment, encouraging others and not loosing sight of goals? Not an easy position when you are in ministry and under authority.  John 13:34 says,
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."  In all situations to allow conversations and encouraging winds to flourish.

Grace is such a key to all of these situations and our Christian lifestyle.. His grace for us, shared freely with all that we interact with. To treat others with loving kindness, slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to listen, quick to encourage.

The ESV goes on to say:
30 Do not contend with a man for no reason,
    when he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence
    and do not choose any of his ways,

As Christians, we do the best we can, making choices minute by minute.  It will rain on the righteous and it will rain on the wicked. We GET TO make choices minute by minute.   We GET TO choose the higher road and operate out of His grace. People hurt us and disappoint us.  People will “contend with us” for no apparent reason that we are aware of.  We are all sinners saved by grace and we GET TO operate out of God’s economy forgiving and loving, because He showed us how.  He loved us when we were still sinners, forgave us all of our trespasses, continues to forgive me moment by moment.  His thoughts about me outnumber the sands and He sings over me. I GE TO  operate out of His grace moment by moment- difficult situation by situation.  Hurtful people become a mission field for my heart to grow through offering grace and forgiveness.
Nobody said Holy Obedience to the Ordinary was going to be easy!

Homecoming Day!

Check out the resto Amy's devo here:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Broken-Hearted Blessing

Todays Devo served up by Angels Moran: Broken-Hearted Blessing
"The reality is that I feel a war brewing inside me. It's the battle between the heartache of my past and of the quiet peace that can be found deep within".

Proverbs 3: 25-28

Day Two:
Do not be afraid of sudden terror
    or of the ruin[a] of the wicked, when it comes,
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[b]
    when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
It is interesting to note that in today’s reading, we are reminded that we do, indeed, live in a fallen world and that there will be terrors and ruin. There will be fears and terrors in our days, but when our foundation is the rock on which we stand, our feet will remain secure. Terrors will come.  This can be in the form of being layed off, sickness, cancer, addictions.  Things will surprise us and take us off guard. Yet, when we are focused on His will and his promises, nothing will shake us from our foundations. Do you have “terrors” right now- circumstances that caught you off guard, seemingly snuck up on you?
Remember that this whole journey begins with “Fear of the Lord”. A reverence in Him, a trust in His character and nature. Perhaps if the storm is taking you out, it might serve you to remember who He is?
Assignment: Open your journal to a two page spread. On the top of each page, write “Who do you say I am?”   On the left hand side – imagine that Father God is speaking to you answering your question to Him; “ Father God, who do You say I am?” Fill in all of the words that he speaks to your heart…beloved, child, etc, You may get words that are not nurturing and kind, encouraging and up-lifting.  This is not who you are – these are lies that have been written on your heart by the enemy of your soul. I would sit on those words and ask Jesus how those negative words found their way into your story- and journal it out.
On the other side, the right hand side of the spread, imagine Father God is looking into your eyes and He is asking you, “My child, who do you say I am?” Write every word that comes to you – every word of who God is .  You may be get words that are not nice, not comforting. Punitive. Judgmental. This is not who God is, but it may be a lie that the enemy has written on your heart. How did these lies get written into your story and into your perception of God?
If you are stuck in a storm, sinking fast, this exercise may help you find a foothold, abolishing a lie that is weighing you down.
Do a scripture search of the character of God. Listen to the song and wrote His names.  His names speak of His promises.  He will hold you up and He will keep you from terrors.
  Names of God, John Paul Jackson
The last of our verses today seem to speak to me of living through a generous, abundant mindset:
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[b]
    when it is in your power to do it.28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
These scriptures seem to speak against a poverty mentality that we can live out of.  Again, I think this goes back to trust. If there is an opportunity to love recklessly and give abundantly---do you trust that it does not take away from you in any way?  In God’s economy there is plenty. This scripture is often viewed through a monetary perspective.  I would like to offer a different view. In God’s economy there is no competition and there is no reason to not acknowledge another’s talents and successes.  The Body of Christ is made up of a mosaic of colors and talents. There is no room for jealousy, competition and control. To rejoice in each other’s successes is to operate as the Bride of Christ.  Do not withhold “good” from those to whom it is due. Congratulate your peers rejoice in their success!  When God knit you together in your mother’s womb He placed a calling on His elect. You were crafted with a distinct purpose in His Kingdom. Only you can do the thing that His fingerprints made you to do.  Jealousy and competition is a thing from hell that divides the Bride of Christ and causes her to falter. Do not withhold any good thing from your neighbor.  Live with a reckless abandon of glorifying God in each interaction that you have, rejoicing in others and loving with abandon!
Rejoicing in another’s success does not diminish you in any way. It does not make you less than. It does not mean there is “less for you”. It does not mean that you are not as good. It only means that you are mature and rejoicing when another walks in their destiny.  When someone finds their destiny and wears it as a mantle, it is cause for merriment in the Kingdom.  As they put on their mantle, it helps define others position and purpose.  We are all created to be wearing our mantle, as a completed “gear”, in the mechanism called  “the Bride”, operating as a giant machine – together glorifying and magnifying our God.   Do not withhold good. Trust in Him.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hope in Jesus Christ

It will be ok.  I promise. Through Jesus there is always HOPE- Aj Luck

Proverbs 3:21-24

21 My son, do not lose sight of these—
    keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be life for your soul
    and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

We are to keep “sound wisdom” and “discretion”, lets look at the original meaning of these words.
The word for Sound Wisdom is tü·shē·yä', meaning enduring success - of the effect of sound wisdom.  Enduring success. I think is important to define “enduring success”, remember that we are trading in man’s economy for God’s economy. Let’s not define success monetarily, or through power and possession.  Let’s define success through the promises that have been listed so far in the first few chapters of Proverbs:
·      Security
·      Ease
·      Without dread of disaster
·      Success
·      Blameless
·      Guarded
·      Shielded
·      Knowledge
·      Pleasant
·      Long life
·      Prosperity
·      Love
·      Faithfulness
·      Favor with God and man
·      Health
·      Barns overflowing
To live our life under these promises would be an enduring success! I love the saying, “Some people are so poor, all they have is money”.  Money, power and control do not leave us with a peaceful, easy feeling that Wisdom – or reverence of God- affords us.

Let’s look at “discretion”: mez·im·mä', meaning a purpose.  Our scriptures today open with Solomon reminding the reader to not loose sight of these two precepts- enduring success through Wisdom and purpose. To never loose sight of them.  Do you see how impossible a task that is, in our world of instant gratification, and a society that is as focused as “Dory” in “Finding Nemo”?  Our society is relentless in demanding our attention. In a fast paced world where internet is on our phones and anyone can reach us at anytime over everything----to NOT LOOSE sight of Enduring success through Wisdom and purpose. It is no wonder that Solomon seems to entreating us to sit up in our seats and take notice.  To HEAR what is being said to our Spirits, not to merely listen.  To understand that we must not loose sight of these tenets, if we want to walk in the promises of God. 
These two things: enduring success and purpose will – literally will be life for our soul. Is is “chay” – life- meaning
·      sustenance
 ·  flowing, fresh (of water)
·  lively, active (of man)
·  reviving (of the springtime)
Is the Word of God not a constant mystery, ready to feed us our daily bread?  Is it not so exciting to dig into His word and find His mysteries?  Sound Wisdom and purpose will flow like fresh water, sustaining us and reviving us.  Drink it in let it nourish your very DNA.
These will bring life to us and be an adornment for our neck.  Here the word is “chen”, meaning:
·      Favor,
·      grace,
·      charm
·      elegance
·      acceptance
Oh my goodness, what promises this book holds, are you prepared to pay the price for all of these promises?  To walk through our days with this sort of character, this sort of stance that allows us to be in the world not of it!  There is a price – we can not loose sight of Wsdom, or our reverence and fear of God.
Solomon is lying down quite the case to take his words seriously.  The cost----- holy obedience to the ordinary. If we can pay the price, Solomon goes on to promise that we will walk in security, our foot will not stumble and when we lie down we will not be afraid. I find myself overwhelmed by the nuances of His Word today.  It soaks into my heart like a fresh spring on parched ground. I am stuck in the words, “DO NOT LOSSE SIGHT OF”…. Help us Lord to not loose sight in the everyday.  Help us to breath you in every moment of every day.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Even When I am In Trouble

Even when I am in trouble, God still loves me!  Having fun playing with digital images in Photoshop! What a blast to build an entire little world that tells a story! <3

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chasing Wisdom Proverbs 3: 9-12

Day Three
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.[b]
Promises: then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.
The statistics on tithing in our country are meager and depressing. In a world of keeping up and instant gratification, money and time are priceless commodities that we do not part with easily, at least in the favor of the Lord. I know that we all know that everything we have comes from Him, every good thing is from the Lord. So, why is it so hard to give our first fruits back to Him.  I think this ties into yesterdays reading – Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Tithing is a trust issue. If you give it away, will you have enough to pay the bills? Will there be enough to feed the kids.  I cant tell anyone what to do, or how to handle finances, but I think Trust is at the heart of this issue.  Do you trust the Lord to tithe for one week? Maybe start there….then add two weeks and see what happens.  I think God will blow all of our socks off as we meet Him in holy obedience in the ordinary.  He promises that our barns will be filled to overflowing and our vats will brim over with new wine…this is the promise of God---He will provide an abundance. I don’t think we should tithe with the thought of cashing in on the good nature of God, investing in Him in hopes of getting a higher return….no, I think our hearts have missed the point here.  I think it is about humility and gratefulness that we give back to the Lord what He has blessed us with.  It is a humble contrite heart that tithes and gives to the Lord- not a manipulative one.
The next part of our verses I love- Do not despise the Lord’s discipline.  Every moment is a teachable moment if we allow it to be. I believe that the Lord loves me to much to leave me where I am, He wants me Holy----not necessarily happy.  Every moment, every difficult person, every hard lesson, every rift in my spirit and peace ----is a place for me to examine – ME. Not a place to lay blame and point the fingers at others.  IF something is going on,, where is the Lord looking to grow – ME?  He loves us so much that He affords us countless opportunities to loose more of ourselves with every “difficult” situation we face. Rather than focus on others- I focus on me and ask Him, “What am I to learn here Lord?”  Difficult people are here to sharpen and expose triggers in self. Situations are a place to grow in faith. Unanswered prayers are and opportunity to pray without ceasing.  I believe that nothing is wasted by God, and as I walk out my life---He provides so many places for me to grow…that sow driver and the slow cashier ----thank you God for allowing me practice at patience, sprinkled heavily with mercy.  Every moment we are to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.  Let’s all agree to find Him in our moments, not just in our quiet time in the morning, or on Sunday mornings.  Let’s tune into His frequency moment by moment so that we don’t miss a chance to grow in Him and share Him with the world!

Have you ever played dress up?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Breath in God's grace

"Breath in God's Grace. Exhale God's ability to navigate through your hurt and pain" - today's daily devo served hot and fresh by Aj Luck
Check it out here:…/love-you--mean-it-a-love…

Monday, February 15, 2016

Christ's Crazy Love for Us!!

Check out today's daily dose of encouragement over at Encouragement Cafe!!

Chasing Wisdom : Proverbs 3:1-4

Day One:
My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

It is interesting to note here that the Father speaks to his son and says, “…Do not forget…”, this implies that the knowledge and the teachings, the experience and the life lessons of an older generation have been passed down into the next generation.  To “forget” something, one must have known something. The flip side of this coin is so beautiful as parents, mentors, grandparents, disciples, friends….to lead by example and to live out your Christian walk.   Others are watching.  Are we living our life so that others would know us by our love?

A warning issued by a father centuries ago, warns his son not to forget.  How often do we forget? How often does daily prayer time slip away with the task master called “THE SCHEDULE”? How often does a mountain top experience, a burning intentionality fizzle to background static?

How do we keep these commandments at the forefront of our hearts? In days of old the Pharisees  would wear phylacteries.  These  were cube shaped “small leather cases” that the Pharisees wore on their foreheads and their arms. In these cases were the Scripture verses from Exodus 13: 1-10, 11-16 and Deuteronomy 6: 4-9; 11: 13-21 - See more at:

The fringes on the Pharisees robes were reminders that they walked with God- each time the wearer noticed the fringes, he was to ask himself if he were – truly – walking with God.

I think it is fair to gather, that wearing these reminders, of our pursuit towards Holy obedience, did not work for the Pharisees and, probably, would not work for us for  very long.  After a time, the little leather cases would become mundane, regular, and not noticed.  

So how do we NOT FORGET? How do we store His commandments in our hearts?  I would say it is about relationship. I don’t forget that I am married and that I am a mother. These relationships take up much of my attention and my heart.  IF I don’t see my husband, or children, for days on end- my heart longs to connect with them. This is wehre I think God would have us.  Daily, moment by moment, relationship…where we pant as a deer when we have not been in His presence. In this place of relationship, it is not about FORGET, it is about RELATIONSHIP.
Draw close to Him moment by moment, day by day- He is always with you- you are always a presence carrier of the Most High. Let that burn in your heart as the men on the road to Damascus.

We have two more promises for our promises page!  Wisdom will:
·      prolong your life many years
·      bring you peace and prosperity

I love the image that is brought to mind next – the image of WRITING  Love and faithfulness  on the tablet of my heart. Oh how beautiful is that image,, when we write it in a permanent marker and not chalk dust!! When it is burned into the tablet of our heart and becomes who we are and what we operate out of.
The word for “love, kindness, mercy and truth”  here is: he-sed, meaning:

·      favor,
·      good deed,
·      kindly, loving-kindness,
·      merciful kindness,
·      mercy,
·      pity,
·      reproach

A reproachable heart that is guided through love and mercy. Is this the nature of our heart?  Lord I pray that my heart would become this vessel to carry you out into the world!  That this heart that is so prone to evil thoughts and dees, grumbling and complaining would be teachable and reproachable- to bear witness to the thunder that is housed within me, through Your Spirit.
The word for Faithful here is : ehmeth, Contracted from 'aman, meaning ;
·      stability;
·      (figuratively) certainty,
·      truth,
·      trustworthiness -- assured(-ly),
·      establishment,
·      faithful,
·      right,
·      sure,
·      true (-ly, -th),
·      verity.
Oh Lord, that my heart would remain stable and not be cast through and fro with the moment by moments of each day.  That it would remain steadfastly true, fixed on You so that I might reflect Your Glory and Your ways moment by moment!!!

When we do these things- when we live in this manner – the promises are that then Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man!
What treasures He has bestowed upon us through this book!!
How have you turned your world and priorities upside down, so that relationship is more important that obligation? An interesting question, as the world and the schedule laps at us – demanding our attention.  How do you find time to invest in your relationship with God?

Monica: Romania

Monica: Romania
Beauty Pierces the Darkness

Join us at Encouragement Cafe!

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

God Will Fix This

God Will Fix This
A prayer for San Bernadino

Art in the Mission Field

Art in the Mission Field
How much would you pay for a smile like that?

God of the Impossible

God of the Impossible
Dreams made Flesh

The Majesty of God

The Majesty of God
His Threadbare Sandals


You taught My Feet To Dance on Disappointment

Creativity Unleashed!

Creativity Unleashed!