Friday, July 11, 2014


I'm taking an online sketching/painting class with Danny Gregory, one of my fave artists.  6 weeks, one with each artist and two more of my faves are teaching - Kate Johnson and Brenda Swenson.  (Thank you, Nan, for making it possible for me to take this class - I've wanted to do it for ages)

Half of our first homework was to draw a piece of toast. The purpose of the assignment is to "deep dive" into whatever you are sketching, to capture each nuance - or in this case - air bubble.  I'll add the picture at the bottom - mostly cuz I can't figure out how to type next to it!

Anyhow, the reason I'm telling you all this is because while I was sketching the toast, which took forever to get the nooks and crannies, I realized that this is a bit of a metaphor about how I read the Bible.  Especially since the 2nd part of the homework (which I haven't done yet) is called "fast and slow" - it entails a quick capture with large watercolor brush after a few seconds of looking, then spending a large amount of time sketching the  teensiest details with pen and ink over the quick sketch.

And I realized, that's how I read the Word.  Or, rather, how I SHOULD read the Word.  A quick run thru, then grab my Touch Bible and use the embedded Strong's to catch each "bubble," as it were, in my reading. (99 cents on Amazon)

I do do this - sometimes.  Every single time I have done this I have been blessed with a new look at something I thought I was familiar with (see "A Shocking Discovery" posted last September, where I took John 3 :16 word for word thru the Strong's and was mesmerized by how much is contained in those few words. )

I think we are cheating ourselves when all we do is the quick run thru.  And I can say this cuz the run thru happens, to my shame, more times than the word for word. I can't imagine the thousands of nuances I've missed by doing that.

Why is it so very hard to really delve into the Word?  I think it's more than laziness.

How many other things do you begin to read or study and gazillions of things pop up that *demand* your attention? It's called "the tyranny of the urgent" and is one of the evil one's favorite ploys to distract us and steal outright our Quiet Time with our Maker.  It won't cost God anything - except He rejoices in our company.  He loves to hear our voice saying "Wow!  I had no idea that meant something so wonderful!" when we discover some of the riches He has hidden in the Word for us to find.

It does, however, cost us, and cost us big time.

Our whole purpose on earth is to know, love and obey the Supernatural Being Who created us.  The enemy of our souls does not want us to discover all the wonderful things about our God (as if it were possible!) because the more we know, the more we love Him! Psalm 103:14 says "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust".  With the Strong's we find "He diligently knows our framing (as in shaping pottery; our purpose, imagination and intellectual framework); He (earnestly) remembers that we are (powdered, gray) dust". This is the Psalm that compares His mercy to the height of heaven above the earth, and removes our sins as far as the east is from the west.

It was with a great sense of awe and gratitude that I found those few words in Strong's.  How often do we realize that before God we are powdery gray dust?  It certainly knocks us down a peg, doesn't it?  And God earnestly reminds us that no matter how wonderful and amazing we think we are as individuals, in reality, we are nothing more than gray powdery dust.  (I find it amusing that we aren't even up to the quality of clods of earth - nope, we're not that valuable.  Gray powdered dust. that's it.)

Except ...

Except for the fact that God is absolutely in love with us.  We are His children.  We are the inheritance of Jesus, the Anointed One, the Captain of the Host, the Almighty Creator, the great Loving Heart at the center of all existence.

Without that small detail, we are nothing but (altogether now, one two three:) gray, powdered dust.

As I began to sketch out my homework, I realized this is how God sees me - every tiny nook and cranny of sin or sickness is no surprise to Him. Every quirk, every wobbly line, every pinpoint of being stands revealed before Him. So He earnestly reminds Himself what we are made of, how He framed each one of us as Potter to our clay.  Chronic illness is no mistake.  He formed every molecule that goes into what makes us us.  He has a purpose for it.  As He learned obedience by the things He suffered, He gives us that privilege as well.  Not a single ache, pain, cough or wheeze happened to us by chance.

And He loves every minuscule dot that goes into making us who we are.

What an Awesome God we serve!!

Here it is!

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