From My Playlist – Victor’s Crown

Saturday I worshiped with 190,000 women all over the world in the Beth Moore simulcast. Can I sum it up in one word? That’s a hard one, but I’ll try.

POWERFUL!

Such an amazing experience knowing you’re praising God with that many women at the exact same time, singing the same songs (Travis Cottrell and his team lead us…wow!). Plus, listening live to Beth share the message the Lord gave her was overwhelming. There were times I was driven to tears and times I couldn’t stop laughing.

It was a day I needed after weeks of busyness filled with stress.

What did I take home with me? Lots. Here’s what hit home for me.

Jesus wants me to know who I am and who I’m not.

Beth gave us an Identity Declaration. We read it out loud and then we sang it in a song with the worship team. Powerful words. To read it go here.

I am a woman of God and I’m redeemed! Not only that, but I’m loved, pursued, and chosen! I need to remember this in the times when I’m feeling down because things aren’t happening as quickly as I want them to. God knows the big picture. He’s chosen something special for me. In His timing.

And for you!

Victor's crown

I need to sweep!

Beth spoke about times when a woman needs a clean sweep to find what we’re missing. We have so much in our culture to keep us busy that we’re just “adding God on” to it. The problem is we don’t have time! We grab little snippets here and there and don’t go deep enough. He wants more. We need more.

Join me and sweep it out, girlfriend! (And yes, you guys too!)

The entire day hit me hard and was amazing. These are just a couple of highlights. One song that stood out for me was Victor’s Crown. I would like to leave you today with this from my playlist. I love the line “every stronghold shall be broken.” Not may be broken. It SHALL be broken. Christ made it possible.

We need to remember that when we’re caught in life’s vice-grip of tough battles.

Thank you Lord for giving me this powerful day.

I’m changing my story and trusting Him!

How about you?

Were you at the Beth Moore simulcast? If so, share your take home? What stood out to you? I’d love to hear!

Luke 1:45 (KJV)
Blessed is SHE who believed.

Victor’s Crown by Darlene Zschech

Listen to the words of this powerful song!

Vacation Adventures

School’s back in session. Summer vacations have ended. It’s time to get into our fall schedules.

Christmas is around the corner. Ouch! Did I just say that out loud?

Let’s back up and forget I said that. :-) We’re supposed to be focusing on vacations.

What’s the craziest adventure you’ve ever taken on a vacation?

I think for me it was a submarine ride in Hawaii! Was it nerve-wracking walking the plank (yes, literally!) to get to the sub and going deep under water crammed into tight quarters with people you don’t know?

Kind of, but guess what?

We loved every minute of it! Such great fun to see another world under water. We even saw a sunken ship. Too cool.

How about you? Tell us your craziest adventure!

hawaii vacation

From My Playlist – Waterfall

Happy Labour/Labor Day everyone! (Just covering all my bases!) :-) Hope you’re all enjoying the last official weekend of summer. Can you believe it has come to an end? How did it sneak by so fast?

I have to admit…I’m glad the summer of 2014 is over. It was a tough one for me. I faced stresses around every corner. I felt my well had run dry and I couldn’t face anymore.

waterfall

However, God was with me every step of the way. He washed me with His waterfall of peace. Dumped me with buckets of hope and gave me the strength to make it through the day.

I love the words of Chris Tomlin’s newest song, Waterfall. His love is like a waterfall. It runs wild and free.

How about it? When you’re going through the tough times in life, do you let God’s waterfall wash you?

Let’s dance in the rain!

How has your summer been? Share with us. I’d love to hear from you.

Waterfall (by Chris Tomlin)

Listen to the lyrics of this song. God covers us with His river of grace!

 

In Memory of Jack – Guest Post by Heather Joyes

A dear servant of God went to be with the Lord recently and my friend Heather wrote a poem about him. Jack Chubb was such a delight to all who knew him. Thanks Heather for sharing this beautiful tribute to his life.

In memory of Jack
Thou he is gone
His message lives on,
“Jesus is the Way.”
With humility and joy
He served the Lord.
In prayer
He laid himself bare.
With firm conviction
He pursued his mission.
Though trials assailed
He knew Jesus never failed.
Now clothed in glory
Where the truth is heard
He rejoices with the Word,
Singing praises,
“Jesus is the Way.”
clouds of glory
See You in a Little While by Steven Curtis Chapman
This song is powerful. We will see our loved ones who have gone on before us…in a little while. Praise Him!

From My Playlist – Basics of Life

Picture this…you’re sitting at a restaurant table. You have your iPhone out. It chimes, announcing the arrival of a text. You pick it up and respond.

Your husband is checking Facebook on his tablet in between bites of his meal.

Your youngest is playing a game on his Nintendo.

None of you are talking—only with your fingers.

Sound familiar?

technology

Have you ever wondered if technology is taking over our world too quickly? Think back to ten years ago and how far we’ve come in only that short of a time period. Think ahead ten years. Can you imagine the possibilities?

I’m not sure I want to.

Doesn’t it scare you? It does me.

If we can use technology and be connected the way we can today, what will we do with the knowledge we’ll gain tomorrow?

Recently, I saw the movie Lucy. I’m still debating on whether or not I liked it, but it got me thinking. After a fluke situation, Lucy gains 100% capacity of her brain cells and makes an interesting statement. She says, “It’s like all things that make us human are fading away.”

Hummmm…

I believe there’s more fact than fiction to that statement. With each passing year and increasing gigabytes, technology is taking over our thinking. We’re not required to use our brains. The computer will do it for us.

Don’t you think we need to somehow get back to the basics of life?

Don’t get me wrong…I love my technology! It’s just that we can’t let it take over and do our thinking for us. What ever happened to families sitting down and talking instead of texting over the dinner table?

Has it really come to that?

When I started thinking about this concept, I immediately thought of the song by 4Him called Basics of Life. Yes, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

It talks about the same thing. A new day has dawned and we’ve rearranged the way we think. We’ve strayed from what the Bible teaches. Some believe that if we think and try hard enough, we can become gods. The lines have blurred and we’ve crossed them, stepping into dangerous territory.

basics of lifeMy favorite line in this song is, “But I still believe in the old rugged cross.” It gives me chill bumps and I pump my fist in the air!

No matter what changes come our way, what technology brings us, or what our minds can comprehend, one thing is certain…

The Rock of Ages will stand.

He never changes.

How about we get back to the basics of life?

It’s where Jesus is.

What are your thoughts on how fast technology is growing? Is it good or bad? Share in the comments section.

Basics of Life – written by Mark Harris and Donald Koch

Forever Summer

Hi everyone! Can you believe summer is half over? It’s already August. Wow. It’s been a busy one for me, so right now I’m taking a much-needed vacation. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. For now, enjoy this new single by Paul Brandt, Forever Summer! Love this catchy tune!

What is your favorite summer time memory? Share with us!

Jamie’s Paintbrush

One of my favorite things to do other than writing is tole painting. There’s nothing like taking a blank surface and creating a masterpiece. Getting lost in a world of snowmen, gingerbread people, and many other fun characters is such fun! A few years ago I discovered some pieces I fell in love with. The designer? Jamie Mills-Price. Absolutely love her designs. She’s creative, fun, and never runs out of great ideas!

Recently, I was able to interview Jamie and she has an interesting story. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her.

Tell us about yourself: Your background. Likes, dislikes or pet peeves.  Family.

I grew up in a very loving family, in a small town in southern Oregon. I spent a lot of my childhood outdoors, exploring the mountains and streams around us. We were not well off, but I did not realize that. We always had a huge garden in the summer; we had chickens, horses, dogs, and cats…everything a country girl needs!

Jamie Mills-Price

Jamie Mills-Price

I was married at age 18 to my sweetheart (Christopher). A couple of years later we had our first son (Ryan) and about 6 years later I got pregnant with our second son (Tyler).  We were excited about our little growing family, but the day after our 8th wedding anniversary, my husband was killed in a logging accident, and it really rocked my (our) world.

I had always looked at the world through rose-colored glasses. I was a happy, positive person and content with my life. Now here I was, 6 ½ months pregnant with my youngest son, and a widowed mother of two boys. I really did not want to go through my life without my sweetheart and I couldn’t bear the thought of the boys not having their super creative, enthusiastic, life-loving father to raise them. I sank into a depression and made daily trips to the cemetery with the boys as I just could not get over my grief.

This is where my art helped to save me….
My dear, family friend Flo, saw the path I was headed on and she talked me into taking a “tole” painting class with her. “Tole” painting – I had no idea what that was, but she talked me into taking it! To make a long story short – I fell in love with this style of painting and took right to it! I began to escape my reality a bit and began painting my blues away…

I would lose myself in another world when I picked up the paint brush. I was entranced with the creativity of this style of painting! How fun was it to take your painting (off a boring canvas) and put it on anything that would stand still long enough! <wink> I painted the furniture in my house, the walls, the doors, home décor items, you name it…I enjoyed it all! Slowly, I found my happiness returning and I have not looked back.

Between the Vines

Between the Vines

Now, I am engaged to a dear man, Don (from Valhalla) and we enjoy working together to create designs for the decorative arts industry. My boys have grown into wonderful young men, I am so proud of both of them, they live about 3 hours north of me, so I don’t get to see them as often as this Mother would like. :-) 

Pet Peeves? I don’t like drama or negativity, so I try to avoid the situations, or people that continuously create it. Life is too short to have that in your life!

Likes, Dislikes? I love to laugh and I try to find the humor in most situations. Whether it is when I am designing, or teaching a class, I try to have a good time. In class, I strive to have the students relax and enjoy the process…not be stressed and tearing their hair out!

How long have you been drawing? Did you doodle as a child?

I doodled as a child, yes (and I still do!). I have been consciously sketching, (to my recollection), since about high school. I remember sketching faces and I also remember “designing” (sketching) clothing. I had dreams of being a clothing designer!

Did you ever dream that your love of painting would be so successful?

Not in my wildest dreams. I did not really start down this path until I was about 27-28. I never thought it would be much more than a hobby.

How did “Between the Vines” come about?

I was teaching “tole” painting classes and my students would ask me to adjust other designer’s patterns to “fit” their found surfaces and they often asked me to add other details, so I would draw those.

bear hugs1Pretty soon, my students encouraged me to do my own book – so I compiled a “book” full of my original designs and sent them to a publisher (not really expecting an answer back).

It was discouraging to me when I sent my portfolio to a publisher who “sat” on it for a year. In my mind, I thought I was not good enough to do tole books, so with acceptance of that fact, I continued to teach my classes and dream about the What If’s. Well, my students would not accept this and they encouraged me to send it to another publisher.

So, then I sent my portfolio to Sue Scheewe Publishing and she got back with me within about one week—she was excited to publish my book! I was on cloud 9! I could not believe it and I really credit her for getting my name and work under the eyes of so many painters. She gave me the wings to fly. I received many little words of wisdom and I was ready to do whatever she needed from me.  I am a hard worker and was ready to apply it toward my dream of being an artist/designer.

Where do you come up with your designs?

Well, first off, I have a vivid imagination! :) I can easily visualize (and then sketch out) my thoughts into my designs. Any little thing can trigger an idea in my mind (colors, textures, etc.), but I can also easily visualize concepts and implementation, so I can plan out a whole new line of books in one setting. Ha!

The tricky part is that I don’t have enough time in my day to do everything my brain comes up with! I love whimsy and so I think that plays a large part into my designs. I can do realism, but I prefer to step into my imagination and create what my mind is seeing.

snowman

What’s your favorite character to paint (i.e. snowmen, ginger bread, penguins, etc)?

Well, I have to say snowmen are my favorite. I can almost paint them in my sleep by now!

Do you paint every day? How many workshops do you do in a year?

I don’t paint every day because I have so many things that I do with my designs on the computer after I am finished with the actual painting.

I do all the graphic work for Between the Vines, so a lot of my day might be spent editing photos, laying out designs, typing instructions, inking the line drawings, creating/publishing the club (clubs!) packets, start to finish. I work up all of my designs for the laser in the software needed to cut them. So my day is completely full, I work from the time my feet hit the floor, ‘til I fall into bed at night! I know I can’t keep up that pace forever, but there are so many things that I want to do, there are not enough hours in my day. :-)

HauntedMansion

The workshops (seminars, conventions) that I do varies each year. I oftentimes fly out twice a month to various locations to teach, but at least once a month. It has been wonderful to travel the world teaching my techniques. I love to experience other cultures and lifestyles. It is amazing to me that no matter where I go, whatever language is being spoken, that we all share the same love of wanting to paint something pretty for ourselves, or for family and friends; to decorate our homes, or to sell at craft fairs and boutiques. We all just love to paint some color into our world!

With everything that I already do, I stay super busy, so I will be cutting back on my travel teaching in the upcoming years, to devote more time to my designing. It is challenging to balance it all!

What would you say to someone who has a dream of one day teaching and designing? How would you encourage them?    

Well, I would first say to follow your dreams and to imagine (visualize) yourself being successful at it! I guess it would also depend on how determined you are to make it work because to be successful and build a following, you have to put the time in. But we all start somewhere and things may fall into place easily for you, or it might take a while.

I also think it is important to be unique and not copy a style that is already out there. Even though that person had success with it, oftentimes you may look like you are copying them. I understand being inspired by someone, that happens often, but to really make it, try hard to be unique and not step on any toes!  Be honest, have integrity and be respectful of other designers work, and you will always “paint with a happy heart”!  :-)

Thanks Jamie! It was fun getting to know you. My favorite character is also the snowman! :-)

 

Visit Jamie at her site Between the Vines.

To all you painters out there. What is your favorite character to paint and why?