Sweet Blessings

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”                                                    Isaiah 55:11

This painting ministry is a sweet blessing and truly a gift from the Lord.   I am grateful for what God has done and is doing within this ministry.   I have been busy with custom orders, some side projects and a few different painting projects of my own these past few months. I love to see God use these paintings to minister and bless others, He even blesses me with each one.   I stand in awe of Him and  I am once again reminded of Isaiah 55:8-11, the Lord’s Word will not return to Him empty without Him accomplishing what He desires, His will, His way…not ours.

There is always a message with these paintings and I know for a fact that He will use them and speak to each individual heart that comes into contact with them.  Whatever the impact they have, I know the Lord will use them for His glory.   That is who He is, His love for each one of us is unending. His Word does not return void.  He will go to the ends of the earth for every single one of us and He is pursuing us at all times.

These are a few questions that came to mind as I was writing this.  We can all ask this of ourselves.    Am I slowing down long enough to allow Him to speak and/or minister to my heart in only ways that He can?   Am I allowing Him into the depths of my soul, my heart, to transform me to be more like Him, to be that willing vessel that He can use to further His Kingdom?  Am I willing to go where He calls, to follow His leading?

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 9:6

My heart and spirit say, “Yes, Lord…I am willing.  Here I am, send me.  Lord, use me in ways that glorify Your name.”

How about you?  Are you willing?

I am not saying it will be easy, it won’t be sometimes but it says in 1 Thessalonians this:

“The One who calls you is faithful, and He                     will do it.”                                                                  1 Thessalonian 5:24

 I encourage you to find the time to slow down and turn to Jesus!  You will be blessed with the time you spend with Him.

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Just a few of the projects I have been up to these past few months 🙂

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I have been amazed by the response I have received since the beginning of all of this.  Thank you doesn’t seem to cut it but I am going to say it anyway.  Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and prayer through it all.

If you are interested in one for yourself or to bless someone else, pop me a message @ inspiredbyjennifer.com or through facebook!  Have a wonderful week!

Jennifer

Praising God

 

“I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever.   Every day I will bless You…Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.   One generation shall praise Your works to another And shall declare Your mighty acts.  On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.  Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”

Psalm 146:1-7

This summer has flown by!  This past Monday was the first time that I have been able to really sit down, sketch and work on a painting.  I have done a wee bit throughout these past 6 weeks, but there is nothing sweeter, no sweeter place than to be sitting in His Presence. He is with me at all times, including you…He is WITH you, but man this is different and how I have missed it!! It is such a special place to be.  I started to look back at all the paintings that I have done, thinking about all that the Lord has done,  He is SO good!  I love to see Him at work.
I want to take the time today and praise Him for all HE has done through this painting ministry.  This past year  He has ministered, encouraged and loved on people through this ministry with countless paintings and messages to go along with them for encouragement.   I have the special blessing and privilege to see Him do that and make an impact on those who receive them.  I have painted 80 + paintings that the Lord has used, in just over a year.  Each one holds a special meaning or story behind them.   I can hear my friend in North Carolina whispering to me, “He has given you a front row seat to watch it all unfold”  Wow, what an honor and privilege.  It humbles me to think that He would use me in this way, takes my breath away when I think of the magnitude of His goodness, greatness and all I can do is continue praising His Name.
With all this being said, I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane and share some paintings that were created to encourage others, to glorify and honor the One who created us all to fill our lungs up and praise His Name!
Here I am once again, re-committing this painting ministry to God. The One who can speak truth, life and power into our hearts, to draw us closer to  Him and become more Christ-like through His Word.  It is yours, Father, I lay myself down.  I want to see You do great and mighty things!
I am still doing custom orders and currently working on building up my inventory to sell.  Keep an eye out for those!
Blessings and I pray that the Lord will use one of these that I share today to speak to your hearts individually.  Enjoy!
beginning
This was one the very first ones that I drew in my journal pages before it transferred to canvas’.

 

 

 

Elaina
Painted for my youngest!
Gabriel
This is my son’s favorite Psalm.
Gretchen
This is my oldest daughter’s favorite verse!

Proverbs 33-5Psalm 1Psalm 2714Psalm 3418Psalm 4610Zephaniah 317
Isaiah 408
Isaiah 464Isaiah 4110Joshua 19Lamentations 322-23MybelovedPhilippians 48

Let Your Light Shine

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Over the course of this past month, this verse has popped up several times and I have had a few instances to practice and choose whether to allow my flesh to win or to let my light shine so that the circumstance would reflect the glory of the Lord. I remind my kids (and myself) frequently that it is so important how we handle and respond to any situation that comes our way, even when we fail or fall down. Our actions reflect Jesus or of this world. We choose to shine our light or choose not to. Ultimately, it is a choice. We choose to love, have compassion, a forgiving spirit or we choose the opposite and our hearts harden a bit more. Jesus’ Light shines through our attitudes, words, responses and actions. We should always be striving to become more like Him and be less of this world. We are called to be set apart. I want my children to grow up knowing and remembering that shining our light for Jesus, in a world full of darkness, will win people over for Him and will honor and glorify His Name. It is planting seeds and making a difference in His Kingdom, making a difference in someone’s life. How we respond determines what kind of impact we have on those around us.  It is important to teach them also that when we fall, we don’t stay there. We get back up, learn from it and keep moving forward.  It is there that we learn, grow and build character.

I would like to encourage you to take a step back and think of the different areas in your life.  Which one of those areas can you shine your light a little brighter for Jesus. I recently did this in my own life, I have even challenged my kids with this and we are working on shining our lights a bit brighter for the One who paid it all.   It takes work, time, love, patience, etc. Most importantly, we cannot do this in our own strength.  He gives us what we need for each situation and it really boils down to this-you got it, our choices! It begins with ourselves, changing how we respond.  What is our heart attitude of the situation?  One of the first steps we can do is getting into God’s Word.  It is He who changes our hearts so that we can shine our light brighter!  Choose wisely today, friends and love well!

In closing, I would like to share a painting I did a few months ago for a lovely friend.  It was a custom order for her daughters 18th birthday and it is fitting for today’s post. I worked on this while there was snow outside as you can see in the one pic! Here a few steps of the process, it was a fun one to work on.

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My contained messy organized area 🙂
FInal piece. The butterflies are not part of picture, watermark
FInal piece. The butterflies are not part of picture, watermark

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1

Blessings, Jennifer

Paintings

“Blessed are those who keep His statutes
and seek Him with all their heart.” Psalm 119:2

Beautiful Original Paintings that bring scripture to life.  A wonderful gift for yourself and for those you love!

Current pricing and information:  ****in the process of updating, please contact me at inspiredbyjennifer.com for quotes and/or prices.  

 

*These are the standard sizes that I have worked with but can do any size upon request.

*Custom paintings are available upon request, pricing will be determined based on size and work involved.

*Please allow 3-6 weeks to complete, may vary depending on workload.

The following are some more samples of my work.  The large faded flower on each one is a watermark, it is not a part of the painting. 🙂

If you are interested in a painting, let me know!  I would be happy to create your very own hand-painted original!

Any questions or orders, please contact by email.

inspiredbyjennifer@yahoo.com

New products and lines coming soon!

Hebrews 619-WM

Exodus 3314-WM1 Peter 13-WM1 John 418-WMZephaniah 317

Deeply Rooted

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 NLT

“Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”  Ephesians 3:17 NLT

This is the definition of deep-rooted in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Deep rooted: deeply implanted or established

I pray that this message gets across clearly. I am fully trusting that the Lord wants me to share this and that He will use this to speak to your heart in His own way. I pray that you will be able to find some quiet time to honestly examine how deep your roots are established in Christ.

About 3 weeks ago one evening, I was at a local women’s event and during the worship time a lovely young lady sang a song that she had written. It was a beautiful song and through that song, God gave me an image of a peaceful river flowing with two trees planted next to the river. A larger tree with deep, established roots and a smaller tree with smaller roots. Colossians 2:7 was the verse that He gave me with that image. The larger one resembled God deeply rooted, firmly planted in the soil and the smaller one resembled me, even you. The river resembled the Holy Spirit, the source of our living water. The Lord grabbed hold of my heart and spoke to me through this. If our foundation is rooted firmly in Christ, just as the roots are needed for the tree, we can plants good seeds (furthering His Kingdom) and during our trials we will be able to endure them because we are deeply anchored in Him and are grounded by His love and peace.

As I pondered this, I realized that there are a lot of similarities between the roots of a tree and our walk in life.

You see, roots guarantee the existence of the whole tree. We exist because of Him, He created us! Our “roots” are from God and of God!

“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,And my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14

Without roots, a tree cannot survive, just as we cannot survive without Christ. Physically, He gives us the air we breathe to fill our lungs. Spiritually, we are given the Holy Spirit to guide us.

“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22

Roots anchor the tree securely into the soil, just as Christ is the Anchor to our soul.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”   Hebrews 6:19

Roots absorb and draw water and minerals up from the soil for the tree for strength and stability. Just as we “absorb” and draw from the Holy Spirit, who is our Living Water. He fills us up through His Word and others to give us our strength and stability in life. Only the Lord can quench our thirst, just as the root system is the only thing that can quench the thirst of a tree.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37b-38

“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Roots will even store up water and minerals for future use so the tree will be able to withstand droughts and tough seasons. Similarly, God’s Word can be hidden in our hearts and minds to help us get through the droughts that we face throughout life.

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8

If the root system is not firmly established, the tree will wither and die. It will not yield fruit or prosper. If we are not deeply rooted in Christ, we will also wither and die on the inside. We will not yield fruit and prosper if our perspective isn’t focused on the right things.

“And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.” Mark 4:17

If our roots are not established in Christ, when storms come we will sway and fall away from our “root system”. We will be surrounded with chaos, depression, loneliness, feeling unworthy, etc. One of many important reasons for being deeply rooted, firmly planted in Christ, is so we can endure the trials that we face. He is our Rock and Refuge. Our Light, our Anchor in the storm, our Foundation.

It is not always easy. It is just plain hard sometimes. There are times when you just want to tuck your tail in and run. I have been there. I can tell you this one thing for sure, if I wasn’t firmly planted with my roots entrenched in God’s Word and if I didn’t have the wonderful godly Christian friends the Lord has blessed me with in my life…I would not be where I am. In fact I would be a complete mess. We cannot be used to our fullest potential, if we are not in His Word and firmly planted in it. We miss out on so much when our focus does not rest on Christ, but instead, rests on our circumstances. I can find peace and joy in the midst of the storms I face because my eyes are focused on Him and not on the chaos that surrounds me. The song, “Fix MyEyes” by For King and Country, keeps popping into my head.

I think one of the keys, (aside from prayer and His Word), to being deeply rooted in Christ is to trust Him. Do you trust that He knows best? Can you completely put your trust in Him, knowing that He has plans for you?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Just as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 1:1-3 says:

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners takeor sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of  water, which yields its fruit in seasonand whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”

My desire is to have my roots deeply entwined with the Lord’s, to go out and make an impact for His Kingdom. My heart’s desire is to plant seeds, encourage and help people on their journey, help make disciples and to love them well. I cannot do that if my roots are just on the surface, barely holding on, waiting to see if I will make it or not. Being rooted in Christ is a continuous process. It does not happen overnight. The choices we make pave the way and ultimately decide where we spend eternity.

I would like to encourage you to examine where you are with the Lord. How deep are your roots? Are they just at the surface, withering away, trying to hold on, trying not to fall over? Or are they established in Christ so that you can weather the storms?

You are engraved in the palm of His hands. You are loved by the Creator of the Universe. Wow, sit on that one for awhile. He cares for you, no matter where you are in life. You are worthy and are precious in eyes of the Lord.

Have a blessed week!

Jennifer

“A man will not be established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous will not be moved.” Proverbs 12:3

Power of Prayer

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving…”
Colossians 4:2

 “I will praise the name of God with a song; magnify him with thanksgiving.”                                     Psalm 69:30

I would like to preface this with, I know that it has been awhile. A lot of things going on, but most importantly I don’t just want to write to write. With this being said…

This morning, I was reminded of a song that the Lord laid on my heart last summer. It was pretty cool how He did it, too. Early one morning, I woke up to a phrase in my head. The phrase was, “Can you hear that thunder?”.   At that time I did not give it much thought, I was not familiar with the phrase. Later that morning, the Lord reminded me of that phrase. I knew that it was a song because I could hear the music. So, what do we do in this day and age? That’s right, google it! I did just that, I googled the exact phrase I heard and came across “The Sky Spills Over” by Michael W. Smith. I knew immediately that it was the one.  As I listened to the song, I was blown away. It was as if the Lord was bowing down, whispering in my ear saying, “can YOU hear My Thunder?” The chorus is this:

Lift your eyes, Look to the horizon now
There’s still a hope for us, Reach up from the dust
And call it down
Can you hear, Can you hear that thunder
Sing His name, sing it out
‘Til the sky spills over

Prayer is such a beautiful, powerful link that connects us to God. Prayer is and should be our first line of defense. There is power in prayer through the Name of Jesus. We are powerless without it. I felt like God was saying that we, as Christians, were missing the boat. We need to be on our knees crying aloud to Him. That is where the real battle is, not against flesh and blood. We have a very real enemy who is seeking to destroy all of us and we cannot fight against him without the power of Jesus’ Name. Just as Colossians 4:2 says, we need to devote ourselves to prayer and to stay alert of Satan’s sneaky conniving ways. His only purpose is to steal, destroy and kill, praise God that he has been defeated!

I would encourage you if you are feeling defeated to lift your eyes to the Maker of heaven and praise His Name in ALL things. He is there every step of the way. There is always a song to sing, some even with new horizons.  Put your trust in Him.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”
Psalm 121

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It is a privilege and honor to pray for others, it is like having a front row seat watching God work good in the lives touched by Him through prayer.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a few things to ponder.
1. Where does your help come from?
2. Can YOU hear His Thunder? Do you hear His Thunder?
My help comes from the Lord and yes, I can hear His Thunder.  I will continue to sing His Name, to sing it out ’til the sky spills over. My heart’s desire is to worship and praise God’s Name so that He alone will be glorified in all things.
I will also leave you with this sketch. skyspillsI think this one is going up on our wall soon as a gentle, daily reminder to turn to the One who saves and to the only One who remains. I would encourage you to listen to the song if you haven’t already.  It is one of my favorites, among many.  Worship songs grab my heart because I absolutely love to praise the Maker and to be in His Presence!

“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.”

Psalm 96:1

Blessings,

Jennifer

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
― Corrie ten Boom

Wholly Devoted

 

“Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.”         1 Kings 8:61

Wholly devoted — what does this truly mean?

I believe wholly devoted and fully surrendered go hand in hand.  A devoted heart is a surrendered heart. The two are intricately woven in and out with the other.  These past few years, the Lord has taken me and continues to take me even deeper into what these two words mean.  I have been thinking a lot more about this these past few months.  What does this look like in one’s life?  To live a life wholly devoted, fully surrendered doesn’t just touch one part of my life or what I want to choose.  It is the whole package, surrendering my all to the Lord so that I can be wholly devoted to Him in all things that He brings into my life.

 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”                                            Matthew 5:16

I long to be wholly devoted to Jesus.  He is my center and my hearts desire is to please Him in all that I do. My desire is to serve Him to my fullest capacity,  to be a willing vessel.  I long to be fully surrendered to Jesus on a daily basis so that I can impact those that He has surrounded me with daily and the people I cross paths with.   I want to be a shining light for God to glorify His Name, telling the world that this is who I live for.  I want to make a difference in His Kingdom.   He has changed my life and He can change yours also.

One of the areas in my life that the Lord is using to shine His Light is through my paintings.  I have said this before: it truly blesses me that He is using me in this way.  I LOVE that with this gift/ministry He has given me, I can bless others with His Word. Plus, my prayer is that my artwork will continue to minister to whoever comes into contact with the particular verse He has given me.  I have wholly devoted and fully surrendered this ministry to God.  I can’t — or rather, I wouldn’t — be able to do any of this without Him.  I am just a willing vessel used by God, such a blessing.

I am currently working on a handful of paintings for people and I have finished a few this past month.   I’m beginning a few new projects, as the Lord has opened up a few potential doors for my artwork.  I am praying for direction and waiting for His lead.  I am looking forward to sharing with you once I get a clearer direction.  I want to use this gift/ministry to its fullest to draw people to Him to bless and encourage others in His Word.  So, again I am saying this, “Here I am, Lord…I am willing to be used by You in any way You see fit for this ministry to continue to grow.”

 Here are a few things I have been up to.22

This past month I have been playing around with burlap, what fun!

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I also created a set of scripture cards for a dear friend for her birthday.  This first time, I found the cards by Becky Higgins called “Project Life”.   I wrote out scripture on her cards and added my own flair to them!  They turned out super cute and I may just have to create my own cards from start to finish!  Let me know if you are interested.

21

My husbands dad turned 70 last month and this is the painting that I made for his birthday.  It was a blessing to do and was great to be with the family celebrating together!

In closing, I would like to ask you, what does God see in your heart?  In 2 Chronicles, it says that He seeks those whose hearts are fully committed, fully devoted to Him.

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…” 2 Chronicles 16:9a

Is your heart longing to be closer to Jesus, to be that shining light for others, to make a difference with what God has given you?  I know that is my heart’s desire and, though we all fall down sometimes, the Lord’s lovingkindness and compassions are new every morning!

“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”   Lamentations 3:22-24     

I encourage you to seek Him and ask Him how He can use you to impact those around you.  Fix your eyes on Jesus, great is His faithfulness!

Just give me Jesus and my heart will be happy.

Until next time!
Jennifer                                                                                                                                       inspiredbyjennifer@yahoo.com

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