Wednesday, May 30, 2012

15 countries...

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."
--Mark 16:15

Last month, I was asked by Outcry in the Barrio (the men's home Todd went to) to paint a flag representing each country where a Victory Temple was established.  I was more than excited to do this for them.  The paintings are hanging in the entryway as you enter the men's home.  There are 15 flags.  It's really unbelievable thinking of the history of this incredible ministry and how many destroyed lives and families they have helped piece back together.  Todd and I are humbled to say we have had experiences with this ministry that we never believed were possible.  
Anytime one of the "homeboys" gives their testimony, they always lead up to the day they were saved by saying, "But One Day," which is where we got the title of our blog.  It gives me chills every time I hear one of them saying it.  All of their pasts were so different, so spoiled, and usually so deceitful.  Even though I know those three words are coming up as they are giving their testimony, I still get teary-eyed hearing each one of them say it because when they get to that part, "BUT ONE DAY," they are all the same.  We are all saved only through Jesus blood he shed on the cross for us.  
I am so thankful for my "one day."

Saturday, May 19, 2012


"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the communion, to the breaking of bread and to prayer...All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."
--Acts 2:42-47

Wow!  Today the weirdest thing happened...It was another little sign of God's work in action.  He reaffirms my faith everyday as He answers prayers and opens doors for our family.  
I had been praying about possibly broadening the scope of work with my painting.  I asked God if it was His will for different opportunities to come my way in order for my business to thrive.  One of the specific things I prayed for was for someone to ask me to paint a mural of some sort in their home.  Not just any mural, but something that would glorify God and draw more people closer to Him. 
A little history...When we first moved to Fort Worth, I was asked by Kelly, who I have mentioned on our blog several times, to join a bible study group.  I didn't hesitate to say "yes" because not only was I going to be able to study God's word more, but I was going to be accountable.  I also thought that maybe in the mix of all that I would make some new friends.  I remember going to eat the first time we all met together.  I was really nervous because they were the first group of women I had been around in Fort Worth and I wanted to be accepted.  It is funny I say that now, thinking of all the friendships I have made.  
We all bonded instantly over a book called The Secret of the Lord by Dannah Gresh.  I encourage everyone who hasn't read it to definitely, find a small group of friends, and read it.  
Throughout our several weeks together, so many masks of perfection were broken down as each one of us shared some very tender, heartfelt moments of disappointment/embarrassment/struggle in our lives.  I really don't think that we ever got out of our study without at least two or three of us completely breaking down.  But, you know what?  That is what God intended to happen! And it was awesome!!  To have the freedom to share such intimate moments with friends who you know care about you is something I've never quite experienced.  One week our study mentioned the word "koinonia."  Don't worry, I had never heard of it either, but WOW am I glad I know what it means now.  In simple terms "koinonia" means to build community by intimate participation, which is what we are called by God to do with our fellow Christian family. This word really meant a lot to our special group of women and we often went back and referred to it.
Today was our last day to meet together at one of the women's homes.  At the end of our time, she approached me about something she wanted to commission me for.  Guess what it was?  A MURAL.  She wanted me to paint the word "Koinonia" in her family room.  How amazing.  I stood there in awe for a moment.  I even asked her to repeat exactly what she wanted me to do to make sure I understood.  God answered my prayer today.  And I can't wait to share with you what the Spirit fills me with as I try this new venture out!!

In the meantime, here are a few paintings I did for Lakeview Fellowship in Fort Worth.  These were for the youth Sunday School classrooms.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."
I Corinthians 12: 4-6

We have lots of things weighing on our minds for our future this week.  Don't worry, everything is great and we are still staying in Fort Worth, just trying to decide where we will live, job possibilities for me, and exploring new opportunities.

We continuously are blessed by more orders for paintings.  Here are a few I did not long after we got to Fort Worth.  

One of Three for the Victory Home Administration Building...

A few "consolation" Bunko gifts...

For our sweet new friends, the Spence's...

Painted Tom's for Todd's (and my) cousin, Janna Clements.  Such a sweet memorial to some of her family.  Each component (down to some of the colors) had a special meaning.

Cross painting, which has become a favorite, for the Trantham's...

Holly also had me paint a canvas with their name...

"Mr. and Mrs." painting for Marci and Greg (who have one of the most adorable babies in the world)...

Triptych for Jenni and Derek's baby, Landry, who I am so glad my parents were finally able to  meet this past week.  I'm really jealous of them. :)  It matches his bedding.  

Painted chalkboard for Taylor's sweet 16 birthday bash...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where has the time gone...

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."
--Hebrews 11:1

First of all, we apologize for leaving you all hanging for so long.  We have really gotten wrapped up down here in Fort Worth and have been trying to settle in and establish ourselves. 

Honestly, I have had a lot of things on my mind recently and have been struggling with a challenge that has revealed itself to me...What is my purpose?  There are so many definitions and answers I could have given to this question a few months ago, but as I found myself down here in a new town with not many friends (except for my husband, son, dog, and a few special people), I became idle and lost.  Up until this point, God had revealed answers to us so clearly and explicitly that we didn't have time to wonder what we were supposed to be doing.  Once we got settled in though, I didn't hear from Him as clearly as I had for a few months.  I wondered why He wasn't revealing Himself to me and questioned my ability to discern what He wanted for my life.  
Then I realized, it was me.  It was my fault.  I had lost sight of Him in everything I do.  It is so easy to get out of consistent time with Him and get lost in the worldly things that REALLY DON'T MATTER.  AT ALL.  

Why?  Because we are just passing through.  This is not really my home, nor yours. We are only here for a mere moment when compared to eternity.  So, what is my purpose?  To worship my creator, my Father, and to share His love with anyone and everyone I come into contact with.  Not necessarily by words, but by my actions.  I have challenged myself to do this daily knowing that I will never be worthy of His love for me.  I hope you will join me.

On another note, to supplement our income, I have been painting A LOT since we have been down here.  When I say A LOT, I mean enough to pay our rent.  Not many people would share that, but I think it is part of our testimony.  Even though we do live in a one bedroom apartment, our rent is NOT cheap compared to where we came from.  It gets kind of scary at the beginning of a new month and I know that I don't have any paintings coming up, but somehow (also known as the Holy Spirit) something (also known as God) intervenes.  We always make rent.  ALWAYS.  Because God protects us.  

I wanted to share some of the paintings I have been doing over the past months for our next few blog posts.  To those of you who I have been blessed to paint for, THANK YOU.  Because really, to us, it is a blessing.