Friday, January 23, 2015

Exhale - Remember His Presence




Exhale

Don't hold your breath

Breathe in

Then out

Pause

Remember His Presence

Have a "selah" moment

Relax

Breathe
 
 Exhale

©Cindy Fort, 2015



While composing this photo for a class I am in, I breathed slowly, with intention instead allowing my body to be on automatic- and the title came to me.  It is a reminder to breathe, pause, remember His presence - in short, have a "selah" moment...something that we can forget when rushing in our daily lives and anxiety starts to build - like holding our breath instead of breathing deeply... 

So remember to exhale...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Limited Color Palette - a video about painting a face

I came across this video on you-tube and loved how the artist shaded the face - 
I learned a lot about showing depth and highlights on a face, even tho' that was not the focus of the video - 
I thought you might enjoy it as well...

"Statement jewelry" that speaks of His purpose...

I don’t wear much jewelry – sometimes not even earrings in my pierced ear holes…but sometimes, when I am getting into that creative place, I "see" jewelry...rings, bracelets/cuffs, and necklaces...

I love cuff bracelets!  I love to layer them up my wrist and forearm! I like the "tribal" feel of them...made with rougher materials, metal,  One day as I was considering the very tangible draw to wear a cuff, whether I wore any other piece of jewelry or not, I did a little research.  Did you know that people have worn bracelets of some sort since the beginning of time?  Jewelry tends to be a type of identification and/or self-expression as this quote from an online e-zine reveals:

 "...today, jewellery at any level can be and is used to portray an image, how we feel, or where we belong. It's part of the statement we make. It's no coincidence that the mega fashion trend at the moment in our increasingly diversified, individualist society, is statement jewellery..." Rachel Parkin
"Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment." Pearl S. Buck.
The dictionary definition of self-expression is, to express one's own personality, feelings, or ideas, as through speech or art. As we can understand from the quote above, it's the communication in the expression that is the vital part. Ideas felt, but not expressed are merely unfulfilled ideas.1

What I really delighted in was to find that there is a connection to warfare* for cuff jewelry – you see God calls all His children into spiritual warfare – we have a foe that wants only to “kill us, steal from us, and destroy us” (John 10:10); He trains our arms for battle (Psalm 18:34) and our weapons for this war are unique (2 Corinthians 10:4).

I know I have been called to spiritual warfare (as all children of God have) - each hard thing in my life has trained and prepared me...I have questioned, resisted, and not understood...but I have been prepared!  I am like Paul, I've not finished this race and the prize is yet before me - but neither am I a new Christian.  I have said the "yes" to be what He has called me to be...and I have been in the arena of war.  It isn't easy, but it is who I was woven together to be, and I believe (after 8 days of my January listening) that I will need to share this part of me, because it is inseparable from my calling as a counselor AND as a creative!  (Are you thinking about the book "The War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield?!)



 I've begun to design some cuffs, and more are in the works for this year...you can find some already listed at my shop here.  Each one is unique - and I wear them myself...








 My cuffs are part of my "Sealed" collection... a reference that this jewelry is a visible statement that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and set apart by God for the work He has prepared for us, whatever that work might be...Ephesians 1:13







*History shows us that bracelets became increasingly popular with men during Grecian times – soldiers wore defensive bands of leather often decorated with gold, silver, and other gemstones on their forearms. They were called Bracels, from the Latin term for arm, “Brachium“. The Grecian women realized that these accessories would look good on them, so they began wearing smaller versions – called Bracel-ets. The idea became popular and the fashion spread far and wide.  A bracelet is also a small brace or bracer (an arm-guard used by archers).  (Adapted from: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Mark_Clayson)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Live by God's Word and Promises in 2015


This Prophetic word came into my inbox this morning, and it really resonated because it seems to go with my last post about God's revelation versus resolutions - especially the part about "which promises of God" we might claim this coming year.  This is just an excerpt, you can read the entire post here:   Elijahlist.com


"This coming year is a year to remember My promises, no matter what you see happening around you – My promises are sure and they will prevail for those who believe.
"Tumult, shakings, and turmoil will fill the earth, and the Word and ways of God will be challenged on many fronts. But those who stand on My Word and live by My promises will be blessed beyond measure.
"I am inviting you to make a quality decision to live ONLY by My Word and promises. If you choose this direction, I will bring you into an abundant place and you will stand secure and blessed in the midst of an evil day. I will lead you into fields that are white with harvest. I will lead you into fruitfulness.
"Your life is in My hands. I am the Captain of your ship and I will lead you through the channel of promises into a glorious place. Remember My promises in 2015."

2 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 

Patricia King, January 3, 2015, Elijah List

Praying that in 2015 you will be able to lay hold of all His promises for your life!

Till later, beloved...
Cindy 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What God Wants to Give Us Instead of Resolutions...

Was it really only six days ago when we were last filled with hope and awe as we remembered, once again, the birth of our King and Savior? Not only our hearts, but the entire world stilled – it didn’t even matter if it was because one believed or if the stillness was demanded by a culture needing their holiday. Only six days ago our minds were wrapped around thoughts of peace and joy and quiet wonder.


We wonder how to press those qualities deep within the marrow of our being, that they may become our lifeblood in the days to come.   Were our fickle hearts transformed this year, or would they betray us once again, returning to their old ways?  Did we know 6 days ago that in a few hours “real life” would draw us back to responsibilities and the state of feeling pressure?  And perhaps we were practicing a bit of psychological denial in some hidden place so that we could enjoy whatever moments we possible that cocoon of timelessness we weave for these holidays?

How Resolutions Grow in Our Hearts

That gentle, tender time of Christmas forms the backdrop to where we perhaps find ourselves now….reaching into self instead of resting in the sacred.  We can rest in Him when all of life is suspended for these holy-days, but how to carry that sense of being enveloped in the sacred to our everyday is a lesson some of us haven’t quite learned – or in my case, I have to learn it again and again!  The juxtaposition of the urgent that calls forth our flesh against the holy that nourishes our spirit finds its most intense expression when we try to make a  “New Year’s Resolution”.  We want to take that feeling God has nurtured in our hearts and make it incarnate through some action.  Maybe we want to prove that what we have felt is important to us, and that we believe He can change us and this new year will be better than any before. 

Our thoughts and intentions are good – but if accomplished from self-effort, they are destined to fail – maybe in a couple of days, or a couple of weeks, or a couple of months (if we are particularly strong willed as I am!).  Six days ago we were abiding in Him; now we reach for a goal we can work towards to show Him our love, our strength, our determination.  (Oh, how He must be smiling now!  Isn’t that what He came to save us from? Ourselves?)

 And here it occurs to me that the number six represents the number of man, 7 is the number of God, of perfection…6 days ago we were on our way to 7, but we stopped short, and so are left to our own strength.   In this season of making resolutions, of setting goals, God wants to bring something better into our lives, our hearts, our homes.  What we need is something that relies on His Spirit within and isn’t so dependent on our own soul (our thoughts, will, and emotions) and therefore subject to our inherent frailties!   


We are making resolutions when God wants to give us revelation!

Revelation is that something more, something better, something permanent, something not burdensome and never dependent on our own efforts!  Revelation is what we have stopped short of.    The Lord always wants to reveal Himself to us...He declares:

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit…”
Zechariah 4:6

And He also says that He has given us a spirit of power and self-control…

“For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7

Not only has He given us His Spirit, but He has also granted us His promises!

…His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, 
so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature…”
2 Peter 1:3-4

And His promises are His Word, which always accomplishes the matter for which He sends it:

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. "For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands…
Isaiah 55:10-12


Instead of resolutions, let’s lay hold of God’s revelation!  
6 Steps to try from within His encircling embrace! 

Simply answer this question: What promises of God are you claiming for the new year?

Freedom?
Healing?
Better relationships?
A closer walk with Him?

So many promises!  How does a person narrow it down?

1.  Ask yourself, “What has He prepared me for?”  God can use it all - the hurt, mistakes, scars, pain – for His good.
2.  What do you need?  There is a promise that addresses it.  Search the Bible for that promise, then write it down, keep it in a prominent place, labor over understanding it and experiencing it  till it is rooted in your heart…to do this you may have to press into the next step:
3.  Pray for Him to prepare you – let go of bitterness and unforgiveness.  Let Him enlarge your vision; begin to see yourself the way He sees you…He is faithful to His promise and you will  see it fulfilled…but it might be further in the future than you are comfortable with!

4.  Pray for revelation of steps to the promise.  You need to take steps to get anywhere on a journey – but perhaps the first revelation will be to step into His embrace!  And then:
 there may be a hunger that grows,
                 you may realize a “holy dissatisfaction”,
                 there may be a remembering of things He has already instilled in you.

                Ask God to show you which step He wants you to take.

                **I believe this is the place where the growing movement of “My word for the year” can
                 really be useful.  It may take a year to really learn and understand the promises He has 
                 revealed to you!  I have personally joined His Kingdom Come – a new site with a
                 Christian focus that a few of my friends are on.  They are unveiling a "word for the year"
                  directive called Logos365!  I am looking forward to it!


5.   Look to the example of Simeon:  Divine revelation always results in some God- ordained action that positions you to receive what was promised.  For instance, the Word says of Simeon in Luke 2:27-28:
Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.
When the parents brought in the child Jesus
to do for him what the custom of the Law required,
Simeon took him in his arms…

Simeon followed through on the Spirit's leading - this is NOT acting out of the flesh, but being obedient to the promptings of the Spirit within us.  Sometimes the knowing of "is it me" or "is it God" is confusing, until we have built the experience of knowing that we know that we know His voice!  And perhaps this is the task God wants to refine in us this year?!


6.  Look to the example of Anna:  Worship, fasting and prayer positions you to receive His promise. 

She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 
Coming up to them at that very moment, 
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child 
to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 
 Luke 2:37-38

Anna was going through her normal routine - which was focusing on the Lord - and He placed the divine appointment in her path.  He will do this for us, allowing us to "let go" of the striving in the flesh that we are prone to...

That is it!  We can enter into God’s revelation instead of working in the flesh to achieve resolutions!

Till later, beloved...
Cindy

Friday, December 26, 2014

Exploring Circles - A Shield of Protection - part 6 {Paths to Healing}...


I have written about the Caim prayer already in this post; but I do want to share even a little more deeply here.  The word "Caim" is an old Gaelic word meaning:  "protecting", "encircling", "sanctuary", loop or circle and has been passed down from the ancient Celtic church.

When the ancient Celtic Christians of Britain felt threatened physically or spiritually they used the Caim (encircling) prayer. The Caim involved both a spoken prayer and a simple ritual. (To some this may sound odd, but it is nearer to prophetic acts of the Old Testament prophets or words and symbolism,  eg baptism, communion, even handshaking or stopping at red traffic lights, that are used today.) The "simple ritual" was the actual "drawing of a circle" in the air using ones hand, much like making the sign of the cross at the end of a prayer that some of our Christian brothers and sisters use.  The act helps make the connection with God's Presence more real, visible, in this physical world.  Brother Tadhg Jonathan calls these "enacted" prayers.

There are several prayers called caim, and the individual is encouraged to adapt them according to need. 

Here are some samples:

The sacred three
my fortress be
encircling me
come and be round
my hearth and home. (Prayer from Outer Hebrides)


From : Susan Gaddis
Use your imagination to see yourself and those you are praying for surrounded by the safety of the Father’s care and protection.
Here are several ancient caim prayers from Celtic Daily Prayer.
Circle me, Lord. Keep protection near and danger afar.
Circle me, Lord. Keep light near and darkness afar.
Circle me, Lord. Keep peace within; keep evil out.
See how easy it is? The basic structure of a caim prayer looks like these examples. Simply insert the name of the person you are praying for and change the wording to suit the circumstances.
Circle (name), Lord. Keep (name the good you want revealed) near and (name the evil you want removed) afar.
Circle (name), Lord. Keep comfort near and discouragement afar. Keep peace within and turmoil out.
Circle (name), Lord. Keep hope within and despair without.
Circle love (exploring circles post)...
Exploring Circles - techniques post - {Paths to Healing}...
Exploring circles - post 1 - {Paths to Healing}...
Exploring circles - post 2 - {Paths to Healing}...
Exploring Circles - post 3 - {Paths to Healing}...
Exploring Circles - Bringing Focus, Bringing Containment - part 4 {Paths to Healing}...
Exploring Circles - A Shield of Protection - part 5 {Paths to Healing}...