Planted By God to Display His Glory -Isaiah 61:3

Posts tagged ‘christian living’

New Blog Address: Coloring Life Beautiful

Friends, I’m moving to two new blog addresses!
coloring life beautiful

It’s time for me to step fully into the work God has done in my life over the last two years since starting here at Sunny Side Up.

The funny thing is…I never wanted to blog. My husband told me I should, so I thought I’d give it a try…perhaps hoping to show him it really wasn’t for me!

But it was.

For me.

My healing has come through the writing…the journaling, the praying, the laughing and the crying. Eventually it led me to discover this:

Jesus colors my life beautiful.

Even when, and especially when, life seems anything but beautiful.

Coloring Life Beautiful, is the new place where I’ll play and create with words in an attempt to illustrate for you the beauty of my life with Jesus.

Beauty Minute is where I share daily inspirational beauty moments I’ve collected including stories, photos, videos, Beauty Minuteartwork, poems, and of course–laughter.

Life isn’t always beautiful, but when I’ve opened the book of my heart to my best friend and savior, He’s rewritten my black-inked days in red.

He’s taken my pain, shame, guilt, and sorrow and re-colored them through the redemption of His shed blood for me.

It’s a continually written story, always being re-colored, day by day. But thankfully, His mercies are new every morning, and He stays faithful to the promise of each day’s sunrise.

There’s so much to share about coloring life beautiful…about healing…and about becoming in the overcoming.

Beauty is God’s handwriting. The handwriting of Love in your story and mine.

Join me over at Coloring Life Beautiful and Beauty Minute and let’s read some of it together, shall we?

IMG_2790Linda Crawford

You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Philippians 4:8 MSG

Click here to visit Coloring Life Beautiful

Click here to visit Beauty Minute

© Linda Crawford 2013

Re-written in Red Ink: Jesus is the Game Changer

Sharing a devotion at Internet Cafe co-written with my daughter:

Much of my life over the last three years has been written in black ink…a dark script of pain, sorrow, loss and loneliness.

And yet, every day and every word of darkness God has edited, rewritten, crossed out, and written over in red ink.

Because…

Red-inked words of life rewritten over the black-inked script of our lives.

A truth so beautifully captured in a story my daughter wrote when she was just sixteen:


Checkers

Imagine an intense checkers game.

You’re the red pieces…and your opponent smiles menacingly as he sets up his black pieces. You start out feeling very confident, thinking that this game will be a breeze. But as the game goes on, red pieces start disappearing and black kings seem to be everywhere you try to go. Eventually the board is totally void of red pieces…except for one.

One tiny, pathetic little piece is cornered by all the black kings. Sweat pours down your face and you think that there is no way you could ever beat your opponent. On the other hand, he’s sitting across from you with glinting eyes and a devilish smile, showing confidence that makes you feel like he could jump up and smash you into the ground.

But then a shadow falls across the board. You both look up, and see a man standing there with a smile on his face. A patch on his shirt says “All-Time Checkers Champion, 33AD.” You look over at your opponent, only to see that his face has gone white. The man gently places his hand on your shoulder and says, “Well, how’s the game going?”  

“Not so well…” You reply. “I’m going to lose.”

The man quickly scans over the board and then looks back at you. “Doesn’t look too bad to me. Anyway, this isn’t your game…”

To read the rest of the devotion at Internet Cafe click here.

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

Pondering the number 3

It’s been three months since I’ve written a blog post.

A lot can happen in three months…

I have three months of wonderful memories shared with family and friends.

I’m three months older (which, at my age, is not something I celebrate)…

Wait…I’m older, but am I also three months wiser?

Oh yes, I believe I am.

I’m wiser and I’m transformed. Older, but renewed.

All because of three miraculous days in June, and the three months of healing that have followed.

So I ponder the number 3 today…

It was three days before Jesus rose from the dead.

Three is a number of RESURRECTION.

Thank you Jesus for the resurrection life you poured into me during those three days and have continued to pour out these last three months.

Three is the number of DIVINE PERFECTION—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–the fullness of God.

You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. Colossians 2:9-10 MSG

Thank you God, for calling me to empty myself of the things that filled my life that were not of you—pain, fear and sins of unbelief–and filling me with the fullness of your life.

3, you have been good to me.

Soon I’ll write a testimony of your goodness, your mercy, and your healing power Lord. But for today, I’ll ponder your Divine perfection and the power of your resurrection life at work in me…

The number three “signifies and represents the Holy Spirit as taking the things of Christ and making them real and solid in our experience.” –biblestudy.org

You are making them real to me.

Thank you Lord, for 

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

An Epic Story Sandwich

Happy 21st Birthday to my daughter Sarah! May you have more-than-enough, overflowing joy today!

And a yummy sandwich! 🙂

Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. ”More, more.”  I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. Psalm 4:6-7 (MSG)

Hunger.

It motivates.

That gnawing, I-need-something-to-eat-right-now feeling forces us to seek the nourishment we need to stay healthy. And for 20-something girls with an appetite, that nourishment is often found (with coupons) at the local sub shop…

Last week my daughter Sarah headed out to feed her hunger and brought home more than a sandwich to eat…she brought me another “Faith Lesson My Daughter Taught Me.”

Wrapped in paper and emblazoned with the title “An Epic Story Sandwich,” it goes like this:

We were standing in line to order in front of the glass case with all the ingredients neatly organized in their metal joycontainers. My friend Kassi and I were joking around and I mentioned how funny it would be if you ordered your sandwich in story form. Kassi dared me to do it. So I turned to the guy behind the counter and asked him if I could order my sandwich in a story.

His stoic, greet-the-customer smile transformed into a playful grin. He set up the bread and then positioned himself to act out the story. Josh the sandwich guy was ready to play along…

Click HERE to read the rest of the story at Internet Cafe Devotions!

Sending joy your way today,


© Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved.

Everything I Need…

Sharing today in remembrance of our beloved Grammy, who passed into the loving arms of Jesus on this day 11 years ago. She was not just a mom, she was WOW!

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1 KJV)

Can you imagine telling 2-year-olds that they “shall not want”?

They do want! They want candy bars at the store. They want their siblings’ toys. They want doughnuts for dinner. A child wants a lot of things, but a parent can say “no” if it’s something the child doesn’t need.

As grown-ups, we have “wants,” too. And sometimes our wants are not so different (bring on the chocolate!). But we have a Heavenly Father who can say “no” too.

Just like a 2-year-old, we don’t always get what we want, but 2 Peter 1:3 says,

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”

Click here to read the rest of the devotion at Internet Cafe Devotions

Linda Crawford

May the Lord give you everything you need today,

~Linda

Devotion reprinted with permission © 2006 Group Publishing, Inc.

All I Need to Know

I started a new journal a few weeks ago…one where I write just for me and God. It’s a journal where I don’t have to edit myself or organize my thoughts and I’m free to doodle, type with my eyes closed, or switch subjects as fast as lightening or as slow as molasses.

It’s my place to play.

And as I play, I’m discovering more freedom, more joy, and more of the Linda God created me to be than ever before.

God’s showing me all I really need to know is quite simple, like this classic poem from Robert Fulghum:

God’s also showing me that all I need to pray for is quite simple too, and asked me to share this little piece of my journal with you…

I’m praying my prayer for you today too. May you draw, paint, sing, dance and play some today as the joy of the wonder of life fills you to overflowing.

Linda CrawfordThank you Lord, you have all we need to know today.

~Linda

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up, 2012, all rights reserved.

Divine Creativity

It’s officially Spring and we’ve been blessed with warm weather and bright sunshine for weeks now. There’s sure to be more snow and gray days ahead, yet it’s hard not to be inspired by leaf buds and flowers stalks that hint at the promised beauty of the colors yet to come.

Every spring I find myself in awe of the creativity of God–the emerging sights, sounds and colors of the season inspire and challenge me. Birds sing in my backyard, purple crocuses adorn an empty garden, neighbors appear for afternoon chats and doggy visits. Life is stirring again after prolonged hidden-ness and I find myself wanting to embrace and breathe of it anew.

God is so creative. Life is so creative.

We humans are so creative.

Spring has me pondering our human creativity this week.  How do composers create music? Artists paint? Writers write? Singers sing? Designers design? Builders build? Cooks cook? Dancers dance? Actors act? Speakers speak? Mothers mother?

To create beauty–to be a planting for the display of His glory. That’s my tagline for this blog, and the desire of my heart as a writer.

So today, with the sun shining through my patio window and a robin singing in the backyard, I took a few moments to sit and write the desires of my heart for my creative process as a writer.

It started as a seed and bloomed as this:

What would it be like to catch a divine sentence in a butterfly net?

Beautiful, it flutters near to show off its markings, the colors of its meaning, and the rhythm of its movement.

Yet it has no sound to be heard, no melody—until captured and translated into crooked letters that are placed along a path.

Like crumbs of bread the words entice the hungry to eat, to follow their journey, to discover where they will lead…

Once studied, heard in song and transformed into words to hunger for, the divine sentence is released with gratitude to fly back to its creator.

This is how I wish to write.

If only I could capture a tiny piece of beauty, a glimmer of truth, a portion of His love to share in words–to put His glory on display…all the struggles of the creative process would be worthwhile.

Thank goodness I have a book filled with words of beauty, truth and love to guide me…

Every word you give me is a miracle word— how could I help but obey? Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning. Psalm 119:129-130 (MSG)

 They defeated him (the enemy of our souls) through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. Revelation 12:11 (MSG)

The bold word of their witness…

Let’s keep speaking, singing, writing, dancing, painting and creating beauty to put the glory of the Lord on display!

Linda CrawfordHow does God inspire your creativity?

~ Linda

© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up, 2012.

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