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A Masterpiece

“Aslan”

I read this morning about being God’s masterpiece…. That is a huge thing to consider.  I’ll admit that probably more days than not, I don’t feel or look much like a masterpiece.   When I think of a masterpiece I think of something great like the Sistine Chapel or “The Cotton Exchange in New Orleans” by Degas. (Okay, I totally looked that one up), but maybe you understand where I’m coming from.  I have in my mind that masterpiece is defined as something great but completed… done…. no additions, no subtractions…. just perfecto.  No more touch ups by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling because it was perfect. Then others see it and ooh and aah about it’s greatness and it becomes something distinguished, something of value, something that others love or at least pretend to love because it is a “masterpiece”.    Now, that’s how I picture a masterpiece.

When I read that, not feeling much like a masterpiece, I began thinking about what that meant. If I’m God’s masterpiece, what does that say about me really?  Am I complete? I hope not.  Am I distinguished? Not really.  Do I need additions or subtractions in my life? Yep! (and my family and co-workers say a big “Amen”) Well then, if I am going by my definition then there is no way I am a masterpiece.  So, feeling a little uneasy, I looked up the definition and I was surprised to find out that masterpiece is not defined by what others think nor about it being complete or perfect… Though many of the sources varied in a small way, most defined the word masterpiece as an outstanding work of art.  So that raised another question…. outstanding to whom? Who decides if it is a masterpiece or a piece of junk?  Hmmm, more to ponder…..

“In Memory Of Andy”

I have toyed with art for years and recently found that my Ipad is a great canvas. I have an app that is helpful for the mental block that storms in when I ask myself, “Okay, what should I draw?” It gives daily challenges and competitions that spark that idea machine to turn it’s wheels….   So, because of those little idea boosters, I have created some artwork that I would have probably never drawn otherwise…. like a caricature of a celebrity, someone “caught” or a 4th of July firework….. Though there is one thing that I’ve noticed in all of the challenges and competitions.  I won’t or don’t enter my art into a either one if I am not satisfied with it.  I have to feel that it is good enough…. my best….. my own personal masterpiece of sorts.

However, as are most, I am my worst critic.  Once I’ve submitted my art, I find a dozen or hundreds or even more changes that I could have made to improve it…. It is my masterpiece but yet, I’m not truly finished with it and because of my eyes, as the creator of it, I probably never will be finished with it.  There will always be something to change.  And though I don’t know the story of Michelangelo’s painting, I wonder if he stood back while others “oohed” and “aahed” about his work and thought, “I should have added a bit more color to the clouds.”   Possibly, however, would he have said, “Okay, I’m done”, if he wasn’t pleased or satisfied or even proud of his work… his creation? I’m thinking a strong no possibility…

Tiger Lily

So, I drew a lion that was featured by the app creator and I also created a baby dragon that I really liked but didn’t receive the accolades that the lion did.  Both, to me, the artist, are each ones that I really like yet they are totally different. I can’t compare them because they are just not the same.  Though one took hours and hours to complete and the other took less than an hour, they both can use some touch ups here and there….  but I was satisfied with them both and still am.

So, if through Christ, I am God’s masterpiece, as the artist, he doesn’t have to keep me the way I am.  He can always make changes (or create in me desire to change) to help perfect me and still be totally pleased with who he has created….

I definitely needed that reminder today….. maybe you need it too….  You are his masterpiece…. his handiwork…. each of us different, each of us valued to the Artist…. and the Artist doesn’t care nor place our value by what others think….

What a great thing to soak in….

Ephesians 2:10

New Living Translation (NLT)

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

The artwork in this post is all original and created on my Ipad.  🙂

“Baby Dragon”

Feather Challenge

“Caught!”

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Devotions, Faith

 

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Jelly Beans… possibly the greatest

jelly-beansMy daughter received a really sweet gift from her teacher and a classmate before their Spring Break… the whole class did.  It was a little basket and bag of Easter goodies.  Just after my daughter showed it to me, she devoured everything…. chocolate first (just like her Mom), then she went for the other sweet things like Skittles, Starburst and all of those other fat-free candy. (Believe me, I know the way the whole sweets justification thing works… saying fat-free, regardless of the sugar content has some redeeming sounding value) .

My precious little sticky-handed seven-year-old had finished all she could handle for the moment and brought me a little sweet gift…She handed it to me with a toothless grin and said, “Here Mom, you can have these,” and off she ran to play with a friend.  There in the bottom of the goodie bag was a rainbow of jelly beans… I can’t tell you how disappointed I was…. Jelly Beans are definitely not my favorite and in fact, I’m pretty sure that…with the exception of Jelly Bellies…. they probably have some great influence on our country’s economic situation today…. way too many jelly beans made and with all of the packaging and food color and sugar… they just seem to overproduce those things and they have to lose money on them.  They all seem to end up in some clearance shopping cart until they are marked down to 10 cents a bag… then either some impulsive bargain shopper scoops them up or the one of the few jelly bean enthusiasts out there grabs them to create jelly bean artwork. george_jelly_beans-3000x0500x750 I’m concerned that there may be a jelly bean bailout…   Check out Wal-mart the day after Easter,  see how many of those Reese’s eggs are left in comparison to the all of the jelly bean bags and you’ll see my concern.

I really do wonder why jelly beans have become such an Easter staple?  Maybe it is because they are inexpensive… or maybe it is because, though not impossible, they are harder to find throughout the year.. or maybe there is something about them that I just don’t see or get… I don’t know.

I know Jesus wasn’t talking about jelly beans when he said the least among you (which I think jelly beans totally are)will be the greatest.  I kind of always had in mind that being the “least among you” meant being humble and not being arrogant…. I still think it does…however, something struck me this morning as I was reading that passage.  Jesus had a child stand beside him and tells those who were arguing around him about their place by His side, “Whoever welcomes this little one, welcomes me, whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me”.  Wow! Being the least in order to be the greatest is about welcoming the child or childlike, a.k.a the least…. possibly the least of society… maybe the least according to your own personal prejudices or attitudes.. could be the least in maturity whether emotional, spiritual, social or physical… possibly the least could literally be a child (in that case I am plugging getting involved with your Children’s ministry)… I think Jesus was trying to show us that welcoming is what makes our faith so great… welcoming is more than just a greeting… it is an act of warmth, of hospitality, of gratefulness of the arrival…

Okay, I’ll welcome my jelly beans but only because they were given as a gift from someone I love…

Who has God given to you to welcome?  You might be surprised.  Maybe we should welcome because they are a gift from the Giver that we love.

Luke 9:46-48

46An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun

 

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16 Ways to Keep My 16 year-old Off of the Road

My daughter recently turned 16.   I’m pretty laid back about things but the other day when she said she was ready to get her driving permit it hit me that she was really at that stage in her life.  She needed several things to take with her to the DMV; her birth certificate, her social security card and a paper stating she is enrolled in school. Well, she did her part to get her school info but I kept dragging my feet getting her other documents.  My mind started racing… What would she do if those documents just happened to be “lost.”  Now I am not the type of mother to manipulate my daughter but it did run through my mind.  What if the document thing didn’t pan out though….. what would be next?  What would I stoop to?

I’ve made my list-16 ways to keep my daughter off of the road…

  1. Tell her that all licensed drivers must spend a two year stint of public service driving daycare vans – and then top it off with horror stories of vomit and stinky diapers
  2. Give her the keys to the car-  a set from the lost and found at Wal-mart that belong to someone else and then look at her like she is crazy when she says they don’t work
  3. Tell her when she loses the next tooth the tooth fairy will give her a key under her pillow… sometimes vanity is beautiful
  4. Sell the cars- I can do without
  5. Tell her that I fibbed about her actual birthdate and she is still only 14.temporary-poster-1
  6. When she asks to take the car, I will respond, “No hablo ingles”
  7. Paint her bedroom windows black… she’ll sleep for months
  8. Duct tape pool noodles all over the car … for safety… again, sometimes vanity is beautiful
  9. Tell her that there is a warrant for her arrest and going to get her license might land her in jail
  10. Everytime she mentions driving I will scream a B movie horror scream….I’m thinking Pavlov’s Dog, you know.. conditioning will kick in eventually
  11. Have a group of actors storm the house and tell her she won the teen publishers house sweepstakes… she is so rich she can afford a limo with driver
  12. Super glue the car doors shut
  13. Explain the new family tradition where the youngest qualified driver now purchases all gas for all family vehicles as well as washes all cars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and buys dinner on Friday nights…
  14. Everytime she mentions the words drive, I will respond with “Dive? You want to dive?”
  15. Tell her she must learn to drive a stick shift before she can take her driving test
  16. And the one that I know will work for sure…. give her the minivan

Ephesians 6:4

4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Okay, I’m not going to lie to my daughter… and I will take her this week to get her permit….I don’t want to exasperate her….. but I can stock up on pool noodles and get an enormous bow for the minivan

Sometimes we parents have to be creative.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2009 in Fun, Life Stories

 

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