The moment that changes everything…

“The moment that changes everything is when we decide to fear God more than we fear what may happen.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Fear by hang_in_there
Fear, a photo by hang_in_there on Flickr.

It’s easy to be trapped by fear in a place where we cannot effectively pursue our dreams and our God-given work.  But God always provides a ladder out of the trap if we are willing to seek it and trust it.  I’m struggling with breaking out of the fear of relating to people and the fear of doing too much and making my condition worse.  I  keep reminding myself of His love.  That keeps me climbing.


Leap for Joy – Painting Joy

Rather than yellow, I painted Joy in metallic gold.  This will make it pop!

Leap for Joy Joy by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy Joy, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, let joy shine in their life!

God gave us his Word to show us how to live…

“God gave us His Word to show us how to live. He intended that we should live for Him and live for others, not just for ourselves. True, circumcised, godly joy comes from serving God and serving others. The fruit of the Spirit and a life devoted to servanthood – these are the true marks of God’s ownership.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

IMG_2206 by USDAgov
IMG_2206, a photo by USDAgov on Flickr.

God did not do this to make us miserable.  He did it so that we could be fulfilled, and live meaningful lives.  Helping others can bring us much more joy and contentment than we would have if we only considered ourselves.

Leap for Joy – Improving the Lamb

This is the design so far.

Leap for Joy-even-lighter by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy-even-lighter, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

But while I’m happy with the body and legs, the head needs some work.  It’s time to switch to another photo for the head.

Lambs play by Will Palmer
Lambs play, a photo by Will Palmer on Flickr.

This lamb’s body position is not as interesting, but the head is lovely.  This kind of compositing from multiple photos can be very useful.

Leap for Joy-final by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy-final, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help them to bring together the best parts of their lives to make a joyful whole!

We are part of his life

“We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life.”

From my morning readings in “Prayer – Finding the Heart’s True Home”, by Richard J. Foster.

at sunrise in my wild river…!!! by Denis Collette...!!!

at sunrise in my wild river…!!!, a photo by Denis Collette…!!! on Flickr.

At some point in our growth in prayer, focus starts changing.  I have not experienced this as being a simple switch – one moment focussed on self, the next focussed on God for the rest of my life.  Instead, it’s been a height I sometimes rise to.


Favourite Movies – Amazing Grace

I first saw this movie last year, and it immediately shot to the top of my favourite movies list. Amazing Grace: Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Rufus Sewell, Youssou N’Dour, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Nicholas Farrell, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Jeremy Swift, Stephen Campbell Moore, Bill Paterson, Nicholas Day, Georgie Glen, Nicholas Woodeson, Tom Fisher, Richard Ridings, David Hunt: Movies & TV.

It’s about William Wilberforce, a Christian who was central to getting slavery outlawed throughout the British empire.  I knew almost nothing about him before seeing the movie.  Before our Civil War, he fought for human rights.

The movie is an amazing historical drama.  It’s beautiful, and inspiring.  Wilberforce suffered from chronic illness, and struggled with an addiction to painkillers given to him because of it.  But he did not succumb to discouragement.  He was an amazing fighter.

The movie has  joy,  humor, trouble and  triumph.  It highlights love, faith, seeking one’s way and then sticking to it once it has been found.

Those stars that make us feel small…

“Those stars that make us feel small were spoken into being by the One who walks beside you, lives within you, calls your name, and dares you to dream beyond yourself.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Rocky outcrop under the Milky Way by Indigo Skies Photography
Rocky outcrop under the Milky Way, a photo by Indigo Skies Photography on Flickr.

The universe makes me feel small.  I am small.  But that doesn’t mean I’m meaningless of valueless.  I need to be mindful of my place.  That means not just of how small I am, but also that I am loved, and valued, and part of God’s plan, and irreplaceable.

I’m not proud, but I do need to value myself as God does.  If I don’t it will be very hard for me to do the work He has planned for me in His kingdom.

Leap for Joy – Color Balance

Although the design used the colors visible in the original photo, I want a whiter lamb.  The time to adjust the colors is after the basic design is complete.  Then, global color replacement can be used to make different versions.

Leap for Joy-lighter by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy-lighter, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

This is the first step lighter.  It’s still a bit dark.

Leap for Joy-even-lighter by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy-even-lighter, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

This looks pretty good.

Leap for Joy-ghost by Carmen CS
Leap for Joy-ghost, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

This one is just silly.

So the best version is the middle one.

Prayer: Father, please bring your light into this family’s life!

Our ultimate goal in prayer…

“… our ultimate goal in prayer must be to glorify God by changing the world. God desires to pour Himself through us into our world, thus bringing about this change.

From my morning readings in “The Hour That Changes the World”, by Dick Eastman.

Sunday 21st April by jf01350
Sunday 21st April, a photo by jf01350 on Flickr.

Prayer is about offering ourselves as a conduit to God.  It’s also about changing ourselves to become more fit conduits, allowing Him to change us.  That is how we can best glorify Him, by showing how He changes us and works through us.  And what joy I have found in the times I have so far found to allow that outpouring!


Leap for Joy – Designing the Lamb

Remember this project?  I got stuck for a while, but now it’s moving again!

The next step is to design the lamb.  Using the photo as a starting point, designing is a balance between the granularity of the grid, the limitations of distinct colors, and the complexity of the photo.  It’s not something that can be done automatically.

Leap-for-Joy-Design by Carmen CS
Leap-for-Joy-Design, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, we are lambs looking to our shepherd for care.  When we get it, we leap for joy!