Radiate Hope

Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!

~ Romans 15:13 TPT

May you radiate Hope!

Image is my first try with oil pastels.

Focused Living

Chefs

Bakers

Painters

Picture Takers

Photographers

Film Makers

Sculptors

Teachers

Writers

Poets

Speakers

Singers

Musicians

Moms

Dads

Dancers

You…

Me…

We Are All Artists!

The act of creating something is to simply learn focused living.

Art is like oxygen. We don’t have to see it to know we need it.

Many times we are too busy or distracted to see the amazing beauty in a sunrise or sunset.

We can grow oblivious to the intricate details of a butterfly or blue jay or the vibrant hues of a field of bluebonnets and wildflowers or the crystal bright white glistening blanket of fresh snow.

God is an amazing artist always sharing His work with us.

God made us to create too!

Even if you just apply your makeup or style your hair (or don’t style your hair) or fry an egg, pack a lunch, write one word or sing a song today … you are still creating.

We are always creating!

So, slow down and do something that makes you stop and focus.

It could be that very dose of oxygen your soul is needing to breathe in today to bring fresh life back into you.

And the beauty of art is that it’s all in the eyes of the beholder so who cares if people like it or resonate with it… or even get it – It’s what makes you – uniquely you!

No need to explain it to anyone or get their approval either.

So, Create Today!

And if you’re feeling brave – share with me in the comments your latest masterpiece.

~ XXOO Michelle

Restored Ministries

Poetically Prophetic

Your Healing Hour

Create

Lately I have felt the pull to paint and create these pictures using old hymn lyrics.

It’s fun and really brings me into a special place in the Lord’s presence.

I would love to see or hear about what you create.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

The Canvas Of My Life 

Despite my unstable childhood, like most little girls I remember the early arousal of maternal instincts kicking in. I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to cook, clean, and care for my family. Many summer days I remember setting up house in the front yard, caring for my doll, who was of course a girl! I hand washed her clothes, hung them on the clothes line, and prepared pretend bottles. What bliss! What a joyous time of innocence and pretend!

As life unfolded before me, I never lost that feeling. Although I was no Einstein, I knew I was relatively smart and could do just about anything I wanted to do; but being a wife and mom was my first goal and eventually turned into my first ministry.

I write to you today, not as a young mother with little babies, blissfully happy in my career choice. I humbly come to you as a veteran. I’m closing in on half a century in age and 30 years and counting on mom duty. This journey has taken me to the heights and depths of my greatest accomplishments and worst fears. You would think by now I’d have all this figured out. Well, on the raising, I’m still getting there. On the growing, I’ve got a long way to go.

As I was praying while I lay in bed tonight, I talked to God about my fears and short comings. I wondered, after being in the work force again, if I was supposed to be at home, solely a wife and mom. How could I feel this way after all the growth and many, many miles He had brought me through?  

I saw before me a bright white painting canvas. I saw the vibrant and beautiful colors my first 3 boys stroked across the center of the surface; the bright yellows, orange, red and blue! A new beginning, a new generation of upbringing, traditions, and way of raising. Oh yes! This was my goal. To break the curse and raise strong, God fearing, happy children!  

Suddenly the palm of divorce smeared across my beautiful canvas. No! No! My vibrant yellow was rudely mixed with my brilliant orange, and the red and blue bled into all the colors, leaving, mixing, swirling, the beauty together until they left an ugly brownish, black stain across the center of my canvas. 

My painting is ruined. It will never be beautiful again. 

I worked, I provided. I attempted to add color by keeping those glorious traditions and ways of raising. But atop the brownish, black smear, the colors lacked brilliance. Little by little a few bright spots were added. Watching my first-born dive into the Word, mature and become a man, produced some yellow. A splash of blue, a spot of red, a hint of orange as I’ve seen my second son grow with his joyous heart and many talents. A hint of purple and yellow to see my third boy love life and perservere. Still on the outer surface, just at the edges, were the reminders of brownish, black.

Then I had my baby boy, Sam. Brilliant white were those outer edges! Stevie’s yellow shined beautifully! Nathan’s array of colors, so vivid! My Jonathon’s starbursts of purple and yellow shined like the sun! With all the experience, growth, and maturity, I just knew my painting was going to come out absolutely perfect, as the Master had planned it!

I diligently prayed and worked day and night to avoid any miss-strokes. If I made a mistake, meticulously I corrected, being sure to do it just as the Master instructed. This time, THIS time, my canvas would be to His liking. I just knew it would come out beautiful and pleasing to Him! 

Another 12 years, another divorce. I prayed, I worked, I provided, but I dared not to look at my canvas. I dared not. No. I cannot bear to see another black smear. To start all over, to recreate. All those years. My heart and courage could not bare it. 

 
That is where I have been for months. I refused to look. Tonight, in my doubt and fear, God raised the veil. He made me look. He forced me to see. I argued. I didn’t want to see. In submission and obedience, I sat, as He held His hand on the tarp, ready for the unveiling. My heart raced, and sank, and raced some more as He slowly lifted. 

I closed my eyes.

“Open, look what you’ve created,” He said.

Tears filled my eyes as I gazed upon my canvas. No brownish, black. “Where is it?’ I wondered. This is not my canvas. All I saw was beauty. But divorce, hardship! Where are they? This can’t be! Surely, I’ve left a mark, a blemish, a smudge, somewhere!

I asked the Master, “Why is there no blemish?”

He replied, “Because you allowed Me to make the strokes.”

Perhaps it’s best to do as the Master instructs. I will remain at home, doing what I’m doing. I did notice there was still a lot of white space on that canvas.

~ Sandra K. Andrews 

We Are All Lighthouses


My dad was an artist. He was self-taught and started late in life after being diagnosed with health issues and told he had 6 months at most to live.  

Well, he went on to live another 14 more years before he passed in 2008.  

My dad had started out painting buildings and historic homes and sites from my home town of Rockport, TX. It is a small fishing village town with a big artist community. It is North of Corpus Christi and South of Victoria, TX.  

If you still don’t know- from Houston, TX you travel south for about 4 hours and there you will run into it off Hwy 35 S.

Most people are aware or have heard of it now. It has really grown in popularity in the last ten years.  

My dad specialized in watercolor and coastal images like fish, boats, nature, fishing lures, light houses, birds etc.  

One of his prints that he did was “The Lighthouses Of Texas” in 2005. 

Last weekend I gave away some of the prints at The Power Encounter event that Restored Ministries was sponsoring for Ashford Community Church in Houston, TX. 

I told the crowd:

We are all Texas Lighthouses. We are all carrying and shining the light of Christ to guide and help others be able to find Him.

So I want to encourage you.

Whatever state, whatever country you reside in- even if there are not any historic or known lighthouses where you are-

You are a lighthouse shining the light of Christ to guide and help others find Him. 

Take a moment and add a comment and let us know where your lighthouse is located. 

~XXOO Shine Bright! Shine On! 

 Michelle Bollom 

Workmanship 


WORTHY THOUGHT: We were born to make evident the glory of God and that is within us. 

God is working in you and through you to accomplish His great purposes. God placed something powerful inside you for you to go out into the world. 

We are His workmanship (design, art, poetry) in Christ Jesus. 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

-Ephesians 2:10

             ~Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

Unvoiced 

  
Buildings layered upon the ground
In rows outnumbered
People walking, their feet trampling
The original painting
Orchestrated perfectly in tune
But now broken
Forever reused 
By ignorance, for applause 
And we only know what else
Disfigured in view by all
Those who’ve blistered the face 
Again and again
In case they missed something
From the last time
Their hands wrung out the weary place
In the eyes of a wrecked child
Bruised
Internally: masked outwardly
Of identity once owned
The very thing once possessed
But now stranded in other’s vomit
Which isn’t their fault
But blamed for it
As if it were their choice to be unvoiced
Of the awakening of rebirth within 
Blinded ignorance disguised as Compassion
A cause worth laying down another’s life for
But all a scheme of hell to never be helped
Forced out of the dark curtains clothing
The fragmented flesh screaming out
For some affection, attention to be noticed
But all is in effect of the movement
Music that’s only heard through the heart
Beating, pulsing within every fiber owned
In unison of the last breath plugged into now 
Times are gone before, but begging for more
Reasoning with realities apologies doesn’t cut
Breadcrumbs on the dirt floor of victims tears
Reminiscing in last nights fierce encounter
With the enemy, against all odds in war
That battle within one fights all alone
Without backup from love
Compassion, or understanding
Catching moonlit sky in a cracked jar
Pushing back the cosmos of tomorrow’s threats
To kill ones corpse in anger
If the victim tells a stranger 
Of the cold war fought 
Children being mocked and stripped of identity
Forced and manipulated 
To do favors for enemies
Deceived within
That they are nothing more
Than that dirty sand
One walks on from time to time
That binds the earth into affect
Of today’s plan

        ~Bethany Anne 

Full-Face 

  
God is not lenient

God is merciful

There’s a huge difference!

Mercy-showing kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.

Lenient-allowing a lot of freedom and not punishing bad behavior in a strong way : not harsh, severe, or strict.

Viewing God as lenient takes Him for granted.  
When we understand mercy-

We will grieve for what grieves Him.

We will repent instead of disregard or excuse.

We will not be able to approach Him with a sense of entitlement. 

We will be able to see His great mercy full-face! 
Even when the answer or outcome is not one we would have wanted, we can know and trust that He always knows best. 

                 ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
Now answer me, God, because you love me; Let me see your great mercy full-face.                              ~Psalm 69:16 MSG 

This is a great video 

Each Of Us Is An Original 

  
I was spending some time in Galatians this week in the Fruits of the Spirit when this title caught my eye: Two ways of Different Living in the CEB translation. I like the simplicity of CEB or ERV translations but I really love to look up verses in the Message translation because it just really hits the points home for me. Here is the Message version on the two ways of different living: 

  
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified. Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.                 Each of us is an original. 

                        (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭13-26‬ MSG)

  

This is all great advice!

Stop comparing- start loving! And remember – We are all an Original! 

                                  XXOO Michelle Bollom