Thomas Kinkade, the famous painter of light said this about the relationship between his art and the transforming light of Christ:
"Then morning came when the radiant light of Christ penetrated the darkness of my heart with His love. His joy. His hope. And it poured out of my life onto the canvas with a vibrancy I had never seen before. I call it 'The Anointing,' for in a real way, as I was saved, so was my art. I began to see that art is not about me. It's about communicating with someone else - about blessing, uplifting and touching other people's lives with God's message of hope. A hope that is not limited to canvas, but that is true in our lives when we walk in the light of His Word."
(taken from Passages of Light, Selected Scriptures with Reflections by Thomas Kincade, 1998, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Pb, p,12)
Your canvas may not receive oil paint or pastels, it may be a page onto which you pour out the thoughts of your heart, it may be the hearts of the little ones in your classroom or a concert hall where your voice can stir the souls of hundreds.
It may be in the quiet of a hospital room as you sit with a family whose loved one is dying, or in your kitchen where you prepare a delicious meal to share with a lonely neighbor.
Whatever it is, ask God today to let His light shine on it, to redeem it, sanctify it, and use it for His glory. And give thanks.
Have you ever gotten into the middle of a mess and thought, "I should have prayed about this first?" Don't let that happen today.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in eveything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4: 6-7 NIV
Talk to God all day long today. Each time you reach for your cell phone to post something to Facebook or Tweet something or check your email let it be a reminder to connect with your heavenly Father.
Need a reminder? Find a small sticker - or a piece of one - or a piece of colored tape and stick it on your cell phone as a visual reminder to pray. You'll be surprised at how often you'll be reminded.
Nothing is too great for him to handle or too small for him to care about. If you care about it so does he because you are his special child. Try talking to your Father today. Does it make a difference for you?
I am writing a book called Sacred Ashes about a young woman who suffered a terrible tragedy in her past and turned away from God because of it. The story follows her journey back to God as she questions, struggles, and finally accepts the forgiveness and love of her heavenly Father. Out of the ruined ashes of her past, God caused love and beauty to bloom.
That story is fiction, but the truth of it is not. We all have heaps of ashes from the day to day act of living. Some are scattered everywhere, some are collected in nice, neat piles that we must step over ever day. Whatever that pile of ashes represents to you may I suggest that you remember the promise of God in Isaiah 61:3-
"...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."
This passage is about the year of the Lord's favor and promises redemption, restoration and healing.
What has God redeemed and restored in your life? That's the story that someone needs to hear. That's the hope in Christ that you need to share.
Maybe you need to experience tha hope in your life. We all do, over and over again. Can you "out-need" God? Certainly not!
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
What is the need threatening to consume you right this minute? If you will lay it down at the feet of Jesus he promises to never let it consume you and to bring beauty to your life instead of ashes. No matter what.