Matthew 4:19 ESV
Matthew 14:29: ESV
Acts 2:1-4 (Holy Spirit filled them)
From the Jar
I have found that as I write and illustrate that God is very gracious and good to me.
God is especially good helping me to illustrate.
I’ve been writing stories since I was in junior high school. But at that time I had to choose between taking Speech classes and taking Art class. I chose Speech. I had to make the same decision in high school, and in college. I majored in Speech Communication in college.
I haven’t taken an art class since 6th Grade.
In 1988 I was hired to work a few hours a week by a county paper to help with layout. Then the publisher found out I was a writer and he immediately brought a stack of research to my desk and said, “Write.”
I asked him what I was supposed to write about.
He looked at me and said, “News in the county. Next week you’ll fill pages one and two.”
I was hired to work 15 hours a week, so I went to the Managing Editor and asked how many hours I worked now. As I recall she said something like, as many as it takes.
After I completed my first two weeks of writing, he brought me a semi-new Nikon camera and lenses and he said, “take pictures that match your stories.”
I had taken family pictures with an inexpensive Kodak camera, but I’d never used a camera like this. Thankfully it was a film camera (no digital yet) and we had a fellow who developed the film and produced the pictures.
I was really glad for that because he helped me understand the camera.
A while after that, the fellow who developed the pictures left the newspaper and I developed the film as well.
It was a crash course in ‘how to survive in the newspaper business.’
Eventually I was Editor.
Looking back, I am amazed at what skills I learned and what a huge blessing it was for me!
Through the whole process I felt like God said, “follow me and I’ll teach you.” It was definitely the first time I knew without God’s help I would ‘sink’.
When I finished Seminary in 2013, I prayed about what God wanted me to do next. While I wrestled with it a lot, eventually I felt like I was called to do Spiritual Direction and Blogging. I knew I could use photographs for illustrations but sometimes I needed a picture. I didn’t know what I was doing, but God helped me to draw, produce a digital image, and paint it digitally. God was there every step of the way.
In Matthew 4:19 we read, “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The disciples were fishermen and when Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to follow them, he used language they understood.
Jesus taught them how to listen to Him and watch for guidance.
In Matthew 14:29 we see how Jesus taught Peter and the other disciples how to USE their faith when “He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.”
Peter believed in Jesus but until that day he had not really had to act on his faith. Faith in action is very different than conceptualized faith. When I did this lesson God gave me a picture of Jesus and Peter (in my mind). I had a sense that Peter was looking at the water and he was still a little unsure about stepping out of the boat. When Jesus stretched out his hands to Peter, his arms ached to go to Jesus so Peter reached out for Jesus.
Suddenly Peter believed it was possible. Peter knew the faith to walk on water was not HIS faith. It came to him from Jesus.
When Peter reached out, Jesus gave him what he needed.
In the same way Jesus modeled to the disciples how to talk to others. He showed them how to preach when He was traveling from town to town. Then in Acts 2 after Jesus was taken up into the clouds to heaven, the Holy Spirit filled them with power (Acts 2:1-4).
None of that was done by the power of the disciples. It was God who gave them the power.
I know that my stories, my pictures, and my elementary drawings are not done because I possess the capabilities.
God gives it to me. When I first started Blogging I had no idea what I was doing but day after day the Spirit of God guided me. God taught me how to start.
Every time I sit and write, every time I take a photograph, and every time I get an idea to draw something, God is helping me. I know that God is helping me with drawing because I have no idea what I’m doing.
God teaches me daily. I ask God to give me increase.
God speaks to me. I ask for increase.
God gives me verbal pictures…and I am ever so grateful!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: The Teacher
What is God showing or teaching you? Ask God to increase your gifts and your abilities.
In God, Deborah