How do you describe the indescribable?

3 doves third collageHoly Spirit

How can I describe

One as indescribable as You,

Lest others think me crazy?

You, an invisible intelligence.

Silent instigator,

Planted in my heart,

Infusing deep to the bone.

Rewiring old patterns,

Inventing me anew,

Teaching gently how to reflect.

 

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what you can do with bits of paper

There was evening and there was morning.

Beth Fowler art Beautiful 3 doves collage

doves yellow

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What’s the Skinny on Fasting?

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What’s your experience with fasting?

From what did you fast?

Do you agree with the article below?

(I did not write the article. I lost the link source.)

Question: “Christian fasting – what does the Bible say?”

Answer: Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2; 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.

Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything given up temporarily in order to focus all our attention on God can be considered a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when fasting from food. Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God. Fasting should not be considered a “dieting method” either. The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Anyone can fast, but some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example). Everyone can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God.

By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want. Fasting changes us, not God. Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others. Fasting is to be done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude. Matthew 6:16-18 declares, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

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Help! Need a Title for this Art

What title would you give this?

Beth Fowler art Beautiful 3 doves collage

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What’s with the dove?

The dove represents Holy Spirit, which is the only Force/Entity/Reality that was
able to give me a new life.

“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7

Jesus and the Dove

“At age 30, Christ was baptized at the Jordan River by his cousin, John. We read:
‘When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and
behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending
like a dove and alighting upon Him’ (Matt. 3:16). This account of the Holy
Spirit descending as a dove upon Jesus was so important that it is mentioned in
all four Gospels (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32).

“I believe one of the reasons the Holy Spirit assumed the form of a dove is
because a dove has characteristics similar to those of the Holy Spirit. Doves
are commonly white in color, and white in the Scripture represents purity or
righteousness (Rev. 19:8). A dove expresses its affection by stroking its young
and cooing in a soft tone. Spiritually, the Holy Spirit causes believers to be
caring and loving for one another and even for those who are lost. The dove is
a gentle creature and never retaliates against its enemies, while believers are
told to turn the other cheek, to pray for our enemies and those who spitefully
use us (Matt. 5:39-44) and to never retaliate. When the young of a dove are
attacked, the dove will not attack but instead will cry out in distress. This
concept is also seen in the words of Romans 8, as Paul wrote that when a
believer does not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit will make intercession for
with groanings (vv. 26-28).” Excerpt from Code of the Dove

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Why I Hate Religion

Why I hate religion but love Jesus http://blog.proclaimonline.com/2014/05/16/4-thoughts-on-spoken-word-poems/

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A Hot Day in Samaria

John 4:4-17, 28-30

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A Hot Day in Samaria

This passage is about the time that Jesus encountered a woman at a town well. Scholars debate whether the story is allegorical or literal. Either way, my mind gets blown.

For starters, a woman in those days (and today in some cultures) was forbidden to venture out without a male relative accompanying her. One would assume that women were also prohibited from talking to vagabonds. So, something’s up from the get-go in Chapter 4 of John’s story.

Secondly, keep in mind the ancient hatred between Jews (that’d be Jesus, in this case) and Samaritans (the woman at the well). Water from a Samaritan’s cup would become ceremonially unclean for a Jew drinking it, which is exactly what Jesus said He wanted to do – drink from a Samaritan’s cup.

Thirdly, Samaritan heat sucks the sweat out of you, leaving crusty rings of bodily salts on your robe in places you didn’t know you had sweat glands. Running errands and traveling under the scalding midday sun just was not done.

And yet, before time and creation existed, Jesus knew He’d be meeting that woman at this well.

“Now Jesus had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.”

Blue hills in the distance crumbled down into the valley where there are more rocks and stones than soil. Entering the town, Jesus heard a pack of dogs snarling in the distance. No one else was in the streets. No one else was at the well. He waited. Soon, Jesus heard that woman’s sandals crunch the graveled path to the well.

She saw Him there, but nevertheless, she approached, for she was disgusted with restrictive customs and the men who invented them to their own advantage.

“7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

Jesus probably smiled warmly at her. He could have miraculously conjured up water as He did fishes and bread or top-shelf wine, but He’s on a mission and that woman was in His plan.

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

In your mind, picture the woman glancing all around, bewildered, perhaps getting irritated, while another part of her was captivated, intrigued. She and this Jewish traveler share the same God, after all, and she noticed something different about this wanderer. Although she’d forgotten all about dipping her vessel down into the well…

11 The woman said, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Heatwaves parched the fields shimmering in the distance. A donkey brayed. Then all was silent. Jesus hadn’t lifted His gaze off the woman.

She peered up and down the stony path. Seeing no one, hearing no stirrings of townspeople, she decided to call this Journeyer’s bluff. She was skilled at this sort of repartee, no doubt.

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

Ha! This traveler was one of those itinerant shysters.

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

(Gulp!)

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

 

How countercultural for God to use a woman to announce His presence on earth! What blows my mind even further is that the townspeople believed the tarnished woman’s testimony.

God chooses the ones who appear to the least likely people to do His great works. That’s how He got the Samaritans’ attention, that’s how He gets our attention. That’s how He ensures that we can’t explain away incidents like this encounter at the well as just another hot day in Samaria.

Jesus’ disciples rejoined Him, and like me and possibly like you, their minds were on food: maybe some olives, goat stew with bread to sop it up, that sort of fare.

 

End

 

 

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