When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

“My Letter”-Introduction, Body, Conclusion: Abstract Triptych Series (Week 46)

Check Out my 2016 Painting and Post Goals

Story behind the Paintings:

One definition of “triptych” is a picture (such as a painting) that has three panels placed next to each other. “Abstract” is existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. The number 3 in the Bible symbolizes wholeness. I chose to do a series of “abstract triptychs” because it is truly a reminder to me to “walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) It is a “complete” visual to “fix my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18)

Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are more real than anything we will ever see in the natural. The Trinity is the most concrete complete “abstract” there ever was, is or will be.

This “abstract triptych” series will be a visual and written treasure hunt of the gold I am sifting out in my life and in God’s Word in 3’s. My goal is not to research every reference of 3 in the Bible. My goal is to let the Word renew my mind, transform my life and continue to make me into an ever-increasing “whole” new me, the me God intended me to be. My prayer is that it will do the same for you.

May this “abstract series” give you “a tangible taste” of the transforming love of Christ, while leaving you hungry for more and more of HIM, the Bread of Life.

__________________________

This painting represents a letter, my letter, my epistle.  An epistle in New Testament times was a “letter” or “message” written to a church or an individual.

“As letters are the most spontaneous and the freest form of writing, the New Testament Epistles are the very life-blood of Christianity. They present theology, doctrine, truth, appeal, in terms of life, and pulsate with a vitality that will be fresh and re-creative till the end of time.” http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/epistle/

“Epistles also generally followed a familiar format. Most of Paul’s letters begin with an introduction that identifies his name and those of any associates, mentions his audience, and gives a greeting. The introduction is followed by the main body of the letter, and the epistles often conclude with a general blessing and personal notes to individuals within the recipient church.” https://gotquestions.org/what-is-an-epistle.html

Take-away Treasure:

**GENTalks Episode 4: A Letter to the Next Generation  Kaitlin and I discussed a lot of what is written in this post on this episode of GENTalks.  It was such a blessing to actually sit face to face with my sweet Millennial sister and have a conversation about legacy.  The generations really do need one another.   We are most definitely #bettertogether!

**Below is the content I shared at a recent girls conference. I had the opportunity to lead a “College Prep” breakout session and God so sweetly reminded me of, taught me afresh and wrote these lessons on my heart to share. I saw the extended opportunity to catalog these golden nuggets on my blog, as part of the legacy I want to leave in my wake for my children, my readers, and the next generation but also as a permanent reminder to myself!

I pray you are blessed and feel free to share.

I would love your feedback!

Please let me know what spoke to your heart and what nuggets you may have to add to the list.

I want to go to the grave a life-long learner. I know I have much to glean from you!

“My Letter: Introduction, Body and Conclusion”-Abstract Triptych Series (Week 46)

Introduction:

Dear Next Generation,

It won’t be long before you leave the nest, hit the road, spread your wings and fly. You have had a suitcase on your bed since the day you were born. It has been slowly closing as you approach this day. Along the way, for the past 16-17-18 years, your parents, teachers, friends, mentors, coaches, authors, musicians, movie-makers, a host of acquaintances and even strangers have been putting things into your suitcase. I am taking this opportunity to stuff some last-minute items in as well. My gifts are an eclectic mix of lessons learned from life experience and those who have poured into me along the way. It would be selfish to not share. Some of what I am sneaking in the corners of your crowded case, you may already have, but a little extra of THESE items will never hurt. (Thank you John Croyle for the suitcase analogy!)

I, Katie, am God’s slave and Christ’s agent for promoting the faith …My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I’ve been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Savior, God himself.

Dear Next Generation, Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you! (see Titus 1)

Let the suitcase loading begin….

Body:

Look to God to change the man in the mirror, before pointing fingers at someone else! (Thank you Michael Jackson!)

Choose developing your character over preserving your comfort! (Remember the Good Samaritan! Don’t ask what will happen to you if you stop to help; instead, ask what will happen to them if you don’t!)

Wear sunscreen

Floss

Write a letter to someone in your family often. (It can be an email or a text haha! ) Tell them something you are learning; ask them what they are learning; build them up; tell them how they can pray for you and ask how you can pray for them! )

Stay connected to your root system! Without roots, we will go wherever the wind blows or the rains washes!

Don’t worry; DO PRAY!

When you are lonely, and sometimes you will be, remember God is with you everywhere! Lonely and alone are not the same thing!

Pay attention to your feelings. Stuffing them or ignoring them does not work. Feelings are excellent indicators of an underlying belief, but they are not DESTINY DICTATORS! (Thank you Transformation Prayer Ministry!)

Be courageous and brave, confident in the ONE who crafted you, not arrogant in your own abilities.   Remember those capabilities are gifts, that have been given to be used for God’s Kingdom, not the Kingdom of me! (Thank you Rod Stewart and Kay Warren!)

Give a piece of your heart before you give a piece of your mind. A quote to remember: No one cares how much you know until you show them (not tell them) how much you care.

Hug a lot! Often, the one you want to hug the lease is the one who needs it the most!

Learn to dance. It’s risky and awkward at times, but worth it.

Learn another language. It tells that culture you care what they have to say. It’s challenging; it’s selfless, and it takes down a dividing line. That is good!

Celebrate diversity and participate in preserving it. Songs have countless melodies and harmonies; paintings are infused with infinite colors and dances are “dabbed” with millions of moves. Differences are designed to add beauty and depth, not division.

Live “truth in love” before you speak “truth in love.” We know actions speak louder than words and they should also come first!

Shame is not from God! (Thank you Brene Brown!) So, if anyone says, “Shame on you;” you have my permission to say, “No.” But when you are guilty, own it! Say you are sorry and don’t do it again. Shame attacks our identity; whereas, guilt addresses our actions.

Assume everyone is acting out of love or A CALL FOR LOVE! (Thank you Glennon Doyle Melton!) This helps us forfeit our right to be offended and capitalize on our opportunities to extend grace!

Complacency and Complicity are 2 sides of the same coin. I pray you never have it in your pocket!

Read the Bible everyday, not because you have to but because you GET TO! It is a love letter written to you. It tells you who you really are and A LOT ABOUT WHO GOD IS. (We won’t know all of either this side of HEAVEN. BUT we are “VERY GOOD.” CHECK OUT GENESIS! The goodness of God is beyond words; so treasure hunt in the WORD for HIS character; you will not be disappointed! )

While here on earth, in the meantime, don’t be mean!

In Christ, you are holy, righteous, redeemed, and set apart with a brand new heart! (Thank you Mercy Me in “Dear younger me!”)

You is smart; you is kind ; you is important! (Thank you Kathryn Stockett!)

Promote peace without forfeiting TRUTH! Jesus did! Check out the story of the adulterous woman in God’s word (John 8:1-11)!

Be creative in loving the world well around you.

Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out.

Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.  

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.

Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Gal. 6:1-6

When in doubt, give people the benefit of it!

Lean into where your heart breaks and sings; it is where your passion and purpose collide!

Listen to everyone, remembering there is something we can learn from EVERYONE, even if it is learning what we “don’t believe” and should never say or do.

Make a commitment to be a life long learner. The second we entertain the thought that we “know it all” is a red flag that we have a long way to go!!!

Hold the door; say please and thank you. Don’t steal; don’t cheat and don’t lie.  Always stay humble and Kind. (Thank you Tim McGraw!)

It is okay to not be okay, but don’t go through it alone. We are better together.

Get up a little earlier and eat a little healthier then you want to, most of the time!

Gratitude is ALWAYS AN OPTION! If it is not obvious, learn to make the “gratutude treasure hunt” your reflex response. 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” may be what it takes to become world-class in this field. (Thank you Malcolm Gladwell!)

Move toward the hurting; God hangs out with them!

Recognize self-pity, self-indulgence, and selfish ambition and RUN AWAY!

(HINT: If this is the sound track in your head, you might be dancing with the previous trio! “I WANNA TALK ABOUT ME; WANNA TALK ABOUT I; WANNA TALK ABOUT NUMBER ONE! WHAT I THINK; WHAT I LIKE; WHAT I KNOW; WHAT I WANT, WHAT I SEE! “) (Thank you Toby Keith for helping us identify the dance!)

RUN TOWARD gratitude, generosity and selfless opportunities.

*You will have struggle but don’t run from it. That is where your courage will be tested and your values will be forged.

The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.  1 Peter 5:10-11 MSG

*“Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe that we have nothing to learn, no amends to make and no opportunity to be braver with our lives.” (*Thank you again Brene Brown, “Rising Strong,” for the last 2 nuggets of truth!)

1 Peter 2 is a GOLD MINE:

*Do good; it’s the quickest way to shut up a fool!

*Show proper respect to everyone. (That does not mean we have to respect every one’s actions; it means we don’t sink to their level in REACTION!)

*Make the choice to act respectful because you are God-conscious (even under unjust suffering), not because someone does or doesn’t deserve it! None of us deserve grace; it is a free gift that cost Jesus EVERYTHING! DON’T LET THAT GRACE GO WASTED!

Ecclesiastes 5 & 6 –More Stellar Gold!

**Don’t be quick with your mouth or hasty in your heart.

**Hoarding what you have only hurts you; SHARE!

**The more words the less the meaning!

Galatians: A Freedom Treasure Chest

 

You are all closing in on “freedom”: free from parental watch, house rules, high-school guidelines and possibly the city limits! The boundaries set FOR you will one day be removed.

Have you thought about your own intrinsic guard rails?

If we do not give guard rails some consideration before leaving, we are less likely to set them once gone!

We are free but we should NEVER leverage our own personal freedom at the expense of another!

We have rights but we also have Divine responsibility that accompanies them. Personal rights without collective responsibility and Divine accountability leads to wreckage!

For example, freedom of speech is our right but it is never right to humiliate or hurt with our words. (Thank you Andy Stanley!)

The law sets what is “permissible” but that is not necessarily what is always moral, Godly, or the best yes! (Thank you Lysa Terkeurst!)

Permissible and beneficial can be two totally different things!

… We are just as capable of messing it up as those who have gone before us. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. We’re not exempt. WE could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

 

REMEMBER THIS: No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. (There is nothing new under the sun!) All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. (He promises to show you the window out but HE will not push you out it!)

 

Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.”

 

But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.  1 Cor. 10 MSG

 

***Wake up everyday and decide: (More gold from Andy Stanley!)

1- I am going to do what is just, not what I can justify! (Don’t live by: “How low can I legally go?” Live by: “How can I help?”)

2- I am going to do what is responsible, not what is simply permitted! (***Great rule of thumb: If we are not willing to take responsibility for the potential outcome of an action, we should not do it!)

3- I am going to do what is moral, not what is modeled! (The media does not show us the best examples of compassion, morality or kindness. If we let the media set the bar, we will barely get up. )

4- Honor God!

What does that look like?

*Honor Him with our body: The Holy Spirit lives within us; so what we choose to do with our bodies, we are doing to HIM.

*Honor Him with our minds: Thinking a bad thought is not sin, but camping out there is where our every unwise turn is birthed!

What are we watching, listening to, and reading? Who do we spend MOST of our time with?

*Honor HIM with our words: Ask ourselves: Are our words kind, gentle, truthful, and necessary?

CONCLUSION:

As I bring this letter to a close, it’s not the end of lessons learned. It is just the beginning of my life manifesto.

I want to live a

“glory story,”

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Cor. 4:16-18 MSG

and I want to leave behind the beauty mark of…

Speaking  up for the people who have no voice,
for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speaking  out for justice!
Standing  up for the poor and destitute!  Proverbs 31:8-9 MSG
I cannot think of a better way to end this letter, than with some of the lyric from the song “Glory”, written for the movie, “Selma” and inspired by the desire to offer people a voice.

“No one can win the war individually. It takes wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy. Welcome to the story we call victory. The comin’ of the Lord, my eyes have seen the glory!” (Thank you Common & John Legend!)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUZOKvYcx_o

“Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.” 2 Cor. 3:2 MSG

Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.

And oh, my precious kids, dear readers, and next generation, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.

Overwhelming grace keep you! (see 1 Tim. 6 MSG) 

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide!
A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel
Forgiven and Free
Living a life that says:
COME AND SEE!

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