God’s Timing

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

I currently have a little bit of an odd life style. Definitely different than ever before. When I was a competitive gymnast I had a jammed packed schedule. Every moment of everyday was scheduled and time management was essential. Working in the health care profession was similar. There was much structure. Things were fast pace, high stress and busy. I know many of my friends currently have young children. Your day and it’s structure soon becomes all about the kids. But for me at the current season God has place me, my days are simple, quiet, and I have to completely self regulate how I spend my time. I can rest when I need, work when I need, help others when I feel lead to do so. It is a drastic change compared to the life I lived as a physician. Similarly it is through this life style that I am often able to do things I would have never have had the time or energy to do before. Like sitting to write this letter to begin with.

The last several days I have been experimenting with making pens. After many failed attempts, laboring, and completion of some not so pretty pens I finally completed one that was good. The one good thing is the pens are function, they do write, they just don’t look very good. It took I don’t know how many attempts to work out a process that gave me a quality pen. I have to say the whole process was fun but also a little irritating. As I look at this pen. I labored over this pen and at the end of the day I am reminded that this pen is nothing. It is a material thing. It has no eternal significance. It’s value is whatever I assign or someone else is willing to pay for the pen. This pen is actually very insignificant. Similarly this pen has a limit. It has a certain amount of ink and once that ink is all gone it is essentially worthless. It will be time to throw the pen away and buy another one.

We as humans labor over many things in this life. God has designed us to do so. He has seasons for our lives. Some of those tasks and seasons can seem meaningless. Similarly our lives as humans are so very short and temporary. We are much like this pen with a limited amount of ink. When I take a step back from my tasks for the day to ponder how insignificant so many things are in light of God, eternity and his kingdom it puts things back into perspective. My irritation over the failed attempts at making the pen become nothing really. My eyes are turned from the task of simple making a pen to be reminded that my turn purpose is to not make the perfect pen it is to point people to Christ so that Gods kingdom is being built. I make the pens because that is a task for this season, it is a way on bringing in income to feed myself and provide my basic needs. It is a way help fund raise to support others doing the same work. But the pen is actually incredibly worthless. The true treasure is God’s kingdom being built and God the almighty being worshiped.

So no matter the season you find yourself. Whether in hardship, grief, loss or rejoicing. Whether you are tired or rested. Whether you feel restored or withered. Whether you are in prison or walking in freedom. No matter the season or circumstance be reminded that every season is a season to acknowledge God, praise him for who he is and pray for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. For God is above all things. Amen.

To Be Mortified

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Have you ever been subject to extreme embarrassment, harassment, or shaming? It hurts to be mortified. It is even worse to be mortified due to false accusations or when you were actually trying to help someone else. You try to help someone and they throw it back in your face. This extreme mortification is exactly what happened to Jesus when he was arrested, accused and ultimately sentenced to death by crucifixion.

I have never been arrested or sentenced to die on a cross. But I can identify feeling mortified. My own experiences are nothing compared to what Jesus went through over 2000 years ago. Yet I can somewhat identify in small ways the emotional experience Jesus most likely experienced leading up to his death.

Humans have not changed all that much from Jesus’s time. So often we misunderstand each other. We mistreat each other. We judge, bash, embarrass and betray. The sin of humanity is the same today as it was in Jesus’s time. The same sin that lead to the crucifixion of Jesus leads to mortification of people in today’s world. Yet Jesus died on that cross for all of our sin. He took that sin upon himself that we as human would have the opportunity to be reconciled to God our father. Thank you Jesus for the sacrifice you made for us all. For who would I be and what would this world be like without the redemption we have in Jesus?

So as we acknowledged this Good Friday. As me pause to remember the horrible events that occurred to Jesus. As we ourselves maybe even identify with Jesus in some small way when we too were mortified. Let us be like Jesus and lift ourselves and others in prayer. That the lord would forgive our sins. That the lord would open our eyes to the places that we can be more loving to others. That the lord would show us how to be a better reflection of his Son Jesus.

If you have never repented for your sins. If you have never had faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins. If you have never been baptized in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. Then there is no better day to start then today, Good Friday 2021.

Finding Your Flow: Paint While Meeting A Missionary

I am nervous and excited to share a new project. A special thanks to a wonderful cousin who gave me the idea of hosting virtual painting parties. I currently own and operate an art company and do most of my ministry electronically. Yet neither myself nor Jules Artsy Boutique owns a computer. Similarly, to move forward in digitizing some of my artwork, etc I need some other supplies and software. These needs have spurred me to pray and ask God for wisdom on how to do some creative fund raising. Thus, the idea of Finding Your Flow: Paint While Meeting a Missionary was born.

Jules Artsy Boutique offers monthly virtual painting parties on the fourth Saturday of every month called Finding Your Flow: Paint while Meeting A Missionary. Classes are held through zoom and conducted on the fourth Saturday of each month. Tickets are available online through Eventbrite. Each class teaches how to use fluid acrylics and showcases a different missionary. Proceeds help fund Jules Artsy Boutique and the visiting missionary. Join us while we learn to paint and talk to people working to further God’s kingdom! Don’t forget to have your favorite beverage and snacks on hand while you paint, talk and socialize.

My hope is this will be a recurring event showcasing people working both in the US and internationally. Similarly, it is my hope to showcase a variety of people working in different types of ministries. I would welcome everyones prayer and support in finding the right people to showcase monthly. Similarly, please sign up, paint, learn and help with fundraising. Click here to purchase a ticket: Tickets!

May 2021 Event will be hosted on May 22nd at 7:00 pm. The event will showcase some friends of mine, The Nance Family.

The Nance family has been burdened with the needs of the people and the church in Japan. We strongly desire to connect with, love, teach, and disciple people in the name of Jesus. We aim to see a Christ-centered community built by engaging in relational evangelism through teaching English, and our respective hobbies of board-gaming, skateboarding, sewing, and music. We pray to see Jesus move mightily among the Japanese, for His glory, and for His kingdom! We thank you for your interest and support in this journey.

Marks of the True Christian

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I currently do a lot of art projects using resin. It is a fun to work with although it is not the cheapest or safest art media. Using the resin I am able to create all kinds of wonderful art. Several of the pieces have a geode “look” to them. Especially many of the coasters. I feel like the Lord has been teaching me many things through working with this resin. Although the resin projects often look like geode they are not natural stone. They would be considered faux or look alike. Anyone with a trained eyes would know the difference. This is true of many things in life. We have many things in this world that mimic the real thing but are fake.

One of my favorite passages of scripture talks about the marks of a true Christian. For just as anyone with a trained eye can tell the difference between a real geode and a resin piece of art work, there is a difference between those who are actively living out the Christian Faith and those who are not. Similarly this passage of scripture can be hard to swallow for it is a hard standard to live by and meet. But it is also a good reminder of what we are trying, attempting to do as Christians and God promises us the strength to do so when we abide in Jesus.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21 NIV

I have to say after reading this scripture I feel like I need to bow my head in prayer and repent for the times I have not meet this standard. But I am also reminded that it is through this process of repentance that the Holy Spirit works inside me to produce Gods beautiful work. It is through this repentance that my heart and mind are molded and changed so that the inside of me is not fake rather like a real true geode. This is the true Mark of a Christian. It is through repentance and faith in Jesus that we are made into the people God created us to be. It is through this process that the fake stuff inside us is removed and purified. God’s handiwork is incredibly beautiful.

A Note To the Unbaptized

What does it take to claim a title? If you claim the title of champion it means you are the winner. If you claim the title of CEO of a company it means you are the head of the company. If you claim the title of lawyer it means you have a degree in law. I myself could name a number of titles I hold. There are basic requirement to holding certain titles. What is the requirement to hold the title of Christian? For I often talk to people who claim the title christian. So what is the requirement to give yourself this title.

The disciples of Jesus where first called “Christians” in the city of Antioch as described in Acts 11:26. It is the name we use to describe followers of Christ. So what is required to gain this title?

1. Faith in Jesus Christ as your savior. It is through the grace offered us through Jesus that we can receive forgiveness

2. Repentance of Sin. We have to admit, confess our sin and turn from our sin

3. Baptism in the name of the father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I am often amazed at the number of people I meet who claim to be a Christian but they do not even know what it required to claim that title. We are not a Christian because we go to church. We are not a Christian because our parents are Christian. We are Christian when we repentant for your sin, have faith in Jesus Christ for our forgiveness and get baptized in the name of the father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased .” Mark 1:4 and Mark 1:7-11

Even Jesus Christ, God’s one and only begotten son himself was baptized in the Jordan river by John the Baptist. Do you meet the requirement to call yourself a Christian?