masterpiece

picasso-blue-room-phillips

There’s been some interesting news lately about Pablo Picasso & one of his famous paintings, Blue Room.  In this painting, Picasso painted a woman, but art experts have found another painting behind the surface painting.  The image behind the woman is a portrait of a bearded man & experts are trying to figure out who the man was, along with many other mysterious & important details.  It appears that Picasso used his canvass for more than one painting (not an uncommon practice with artists).

Perhaps this is also true with the greatest Artist of all, our Creator.  Perhaps God has not only made the external masterpiece that we can all see on the outside of each other & maybe there’s also an internal masterpiece inside of us that God has also created.  Let’s be careful that we don’t get stuck in looking at the outside of people, but let’s allow God to show us the masterpiece inside someone & not merely the external painting 🙂

after Christmas

I wanted to write up a quick post yesterday but I had more work than time – sorry!

I’m particularly fond of the few days immediately following Christmas because they feel like an exhale to me.  The days leading up to Christmas can sometimes be a frenzied collection of meal preparation, last minute wrapping, gifts, holiday bustle and manic hustle.  But the days after Christmas seem to be more peaceful to me.  Everything seems to get more calm, peaceful and manageable.  Let me encourage you to take some time in these days to pause, reflect and rejuvenate.  Drink deeply of God’s presence and nestle into God’s unlimited love for you.  Jesus was born for us out of no other motivation than genuine love 🙂

On a quickie side note, please remember to pray for South Sudan – they’ve had close to 2 weeks of intense conflict and thousands have been killed there in the last 10 days.

Reflections

We had a really cool lunch with some friends yesterday & we talked about what we most liked about our 2012.  It was cool to listen to everyone & my kids had some very insightful observations.  For me, here are a few things I’ve liked about 2012:

  • opening our first nightcare with Saving Moses has to be one of the greatest highlights of the year – check out this short video to see some cool stuff on this:    https://vimeo.com/55815063
  • taking my whole family on our first family missions trip – watching everyone minister in their unique ways 🙂
  • people’s gracious & kind words and thoughts with my dad’s death
  • lessons learned with lots of grace to mitigate the full potential from bad mistakes – whoops with lots of grace!!

What has been really good for you in 2012?  I’d like to hear your thoughts?

Happy New Year – early!

I’m back :)

I took at pause from blogging for a week or so & it’s been great to take some time to reflect and contemplate.  There’s lots to be said in favor of cultivating a strong interior life & sometimes we need a little retreat to make some progress in this area.  So I took a pause with exactly this intent – to strengthen my interior life.  It’s been super helpful because I discovered some areas that have become unhealthy & dysfunctional.  With the dysfunction, I was having some non-constructive behaviors, thoughts & attitudes.  There wasn’t anything overtly destructive, but getting still & quiet in my heart revealed some real challenges that I’m working through with the Helper.  As we work through these issues, I’m confident that I’ll be increasingly settled in my walk with God & less dependent on exterior living and affirmation.

Be very certain and secure that you’re highly valuable & deeply treasured by the Creator of the Universe 🙂

rejuvenate

 I find that its really important to have times to rejuvenate & perhaps these few days are for exactly that purpose.  Like virtually everyone else, it seems like December is normally packed to the gills with activities, festivities, parties, obligations & general frenzied demands.  But after Christmas, there seems to be an accepted pause or exhale.  For me, this break in activity is very rejuvenating.  It helps me to have some space & time to think, listen, be still, enjoy my family, sleep, read, cook simple things, talk long w best friends and stay warm under a heavy blanket. 

I know that soon enough, the pace will again commence & I’ll get back into the regular groove & routines.  But for this time to pause, I’m thankful.  Furthermore, perhaps when we take time to “sharpen the saw” maybe our work efforts will be more effective & less arduous 😀

rest

This morning, I read Psalms 23 and it was super encouraging to my heart! What really stood out to me was the very beginning part when David says that God causes him to lie down in green pastures. This was really soothing because when you look at the verb in the Hebrew, the idea is that God is very much making David to lay down – almost like an enforced pause.
Here’s my thinking on this idea of a pause – I think that many of us run a pretty fast-paced & high-demanding life for lots of different reasons (some good & some lame). Nevertheless, we all need rest, a break, on a consistent basis (more than just the idea of our daily sleep requirement). If we do not integrate a break or rest into our routines (i.e. a weekly Sabbath), then we will find ourselves in a place of “forced rest,” where God causes us to take a pause.
It is super important to have consistent breaks & pauses in our lives for many different reasons:
*a pause helps to clarify our thinking & emotional inputs
*a pause allows us to re-focus our priorities
*a pause provides the space & context for our relationship with God to deepen & grow
*a pause lets us have an opportunity to slow down & listen to God

Three cheers to a busy life with integrated & intentional rest 🙂

Sharpen the Knife

I don’t think of sharpening my main kitchen knife until I’m using it & in the middle of trying to get a quick meal together. So the other day, I asked my daughter to make the salad for dinner & she used a different knife. When I picked up the knife that she’d used to quickly cut up a tomato, I was pleasantly surprised at how sharp that knife was! This got me to thinking about how often I’m in just straight “go mode”. Get it done quickly & move on to the next thing.
Here’s my thinking now, if I take some time or moments here & there to pause (sharpen the knife), I just might find that I don’t have to work as hard & I just might even be more effective as opposed to just staying in total “go mode”. Just something to think about on a beautiful Fall Friday 🙂