Tag Archive | art video

The Gift of Grace

Advent 2014

Day 15

[youtube http://youtu.be/pzhdo0wz7jE]

Jesus became God’s gift of grace and the gift that keeps on giving.

1.  The Gift of Submission

Although He never sinned, Jesus submitted to John the Baptist to be baptized. In doing so, Jesus identified with sinners and demonstrated complete surrender to the Father.

2.  The Gift of Humility

Although He had much work to do, Jesus welcomed small children.  He said adults must become humble as a child if they want to enter heaven. Children lose themselves in the moment. They act without hesitation. They accept the wonder of the miracles surrounding Jesus’ birth without trying to overthink. They understand with their hearts

3.  The Gift of Compassion

Jesus showed compassion to the multitudes of sick, blind, deaf, and disabled people who constantly flogged Him. He turned no one away. He never rushed past someone in need. He took time to speak to them, to encourage them, and to meet their deepest needs—needs of the spirit as well as the body.

4.  The Gift of Satisfaction

The miracle of the two small fish and five loaves of barley teaches plenty about satisfaction

  1. When we look to God for sustenance with grateful hearts, He supplies more than enough
  2. His provisions come from unexpected sources
  3. Jesus can do great things with small things
  4. Jesus will NOT send anyone away who diligently seeks Him
  5. Jesus supplies an abundance so that we have “leftovers” to share

5.  The Gift of Trust

Trust is one of the most delicate gifts we can give to another person. It breaks easily and must be handled with extreme care. But when we put our trust in Jesus, we need not worry about Him ever breaking it. Here are a few things we learn from Peter’s experience:

  1.  Focus on Jesus, and He’ll enable us to do the impossible
  2. Focus on our circumstances, and they’ll overpower us every time
  3. Prayers don’t have to be lengthy or complex
  4. Even when our faith fails, Jesus is there to help
  5. No matter how severe the storm, Jesus is always in control.

6.  The Gift of His Presence

Jesus’ presence is God’s gift to each of us. Many get caught up in the wrappings—His glorious birth, the miracles, signs, and wonders He performed, the ideal of living a life full of peace, joy, and love. And God’s gift of grace through Jesus is all of that and more. But His presence brings with it His holiness, which cannot tolerate sin. Therefore, we stand convicted. Our guilt pushes the gift away. Instead of immersing ourselves in it, we hide from it unwilling to open the package in its entirety.

Let’s not return the gift unopened this year. Let’s unwrap it and experience the true miracle of Christmas—God’s grace, mercy, and love through Jesus Christ.

How about you? Have you opened God’s gift of grace?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

 

 

Captive or Free?

Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.  And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). (Romans 6:16-18 AMP)

July 4th marks the day of independence for Americans. We celebrate it with pride. And so we should…many good men and women have died for our freedom to pursue life and happiness.

Freedom seems to be the desire of every human soul. But is it possible? Were we created to be free?

Face it, liberties only seem to free us from one form of bondage to enable us to chain ourselves to another form.

According to the Bible, we are slaves to whomever or to whatever masters us. We become servants to other people, our spouses, our parents, our children, our employers, obliged to do their bidding. If not people, food, drugs, alcohol, materialism, video games, the internet, or some other substance becomes our master.

What a pathetic lot we humans are!

Not only do we submit to physical slavery, we yield ourselves to spiritual lords as well. We either succumb to the laws of sin and thereby become slaves to it, or we surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby become the servants of righteousness. See Romans 6:18.

God created humans to worship, praise, and serve Him. But we resist His control and subject ourselves to other forms of control…other masters…masters that set us in chains, weighing us down with shackles so cumbersome we sink instead of soar. And our souls continue to cry out for freedom.

Thus, we find our only hope for freedom comes from submission to Christ. He came to set the captives free from physical and spiritual bondage. He did it by submitting Himself totally to the Father’s will. By His example, we understand how to live free from the bondage of sin and dependent on God the Father.

Yeah, it sounds like an oxymoron to say He frees us to make us slaves to righteousness. But since we are prone to slavery, isn’t it better to succumb to God? In doing so, our souls are set free.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Storms of Life

This art video took months. It’s still not perfect, but the message is clear. Be blessed.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Who on Earth did Jesus Claim to Be?

Part One

John the Baptist’s testimony proclaiming Jesus the Lamb of God and the Son of God meant one thing to the Jews–this man, Jesus, was equal to and thereby, God. Read more

The Breath of Dawn

Before the breaking of dawn, I awake, startled and trembling. An eerie presence causes my skin to crawl. Darkness evades my soul. My spirit plummets.

A whisper escapes the taut muscles in my throat. “J-J-Jesus.”

Light bursts through the darkness. Tremors cease. My spirit soars—calm, rejoicing.

As I lie on my bed praising God, a vision of a flailing eaglet drifts past my mind’s eye. In the distance, flies the fledgling’s father. With his keen eyes, he spies the young bird, turns sharply, and swoops beneath it. The frightened eaglet lands on her father’s back with a soft thump. Together they return to the nest. Safe…secure…

The vision soothes my remaining ruffled fragments of fear and stays with me throughout the day as a gentle reminder of God’s protective eye that never loses sight of me.

More times than I care to remember, I have felt like that flailing eaglet. Still, God has always rescued me. And I have no reason to doubt that He always will. He cares for me.

He cares for you as well. That time you were rejected and your hurt was so deep your spirit plummeted to a new low, but you managed to find a friend who taught you the value of your life. That was God swooping beneath you, creating an undercurrent so you wouldn’t crash land.
And you, the one who lost your job. You were sure no one would hire you because of the circumstances behind it, yet several months or years and a few college courses later, you landed the job of your dreams…that was God, catching you midair and taking you to where He needed you the most.
Maybe you are the one who lost the person dearest to you to a terminal illness. You prayed with expectation. Yet at the moment of his death, darkness evaded your soul, and you were sure the sun would never rise again. But it did and little by little…day by day, you discovered a new purpose for living, perhaps in your children or grandchildren, perhaps in a ministry or through a dog that wandered into your yard. That was God carrying you on His back until you were able to fly again.

Jesus said, “ I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.” * And He meant it. All we have to do is call His name. He will minister to us, give us far more than we can ask or imagine; and best of all, He will never, ever abandon us. Like an eagle, He will carry us on the breath of dawn.

*John 14:18 (AMP)

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda
Author/illustrator