Tickell Expressions

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

His Face was like an Angel

Hello Friends,

I have been reading the book of Acts lately. Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian faith, but he was not an apostle. He was one of seven men chosen to distribute food - "to wait on tables" (Acts 6:2). He was an ordinary person, (like you and me) yet he "did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people" (verse 8 of Acts 6).

Miracles, signs and wonders tend to be messy. People get emotional when they are saved from terrible diseases or can see for the first time in their lives. They become more interested in pursuing a vibrant relationship with God than in following religious etiquette.

The religious leaders did not like the disturbance of their status quo so they hauled Stephen before their council. But the Spirit of God helped him to answer their accusations with such wisdom that the religious leaders "could not stand up against it" (verse 10). Their solutions was to persuade some men to be false witnesses against Stephen.

Then everyone saw Stephen's face become like "the face of an angel" as he spoke to them. I believe this was God's mercy, giving those present a sign to know that his Spirit was on Stephen and they could believe what he was saying.

But they didn't.

By the end of chapter eight, they dragged Stephen outside of the city and starting pelting him with rocks. Even though they had all witnessed the angelic-like glory of God on Stephen's face as he spoke, they hardened their hearts against him. Their pride and sense of rightness in their own eyes was more powerfully motivating than the miraculous sign the Lord had so graciously given them.

Through the generations there have been many sovereign moves of God. And there have always been those who have pelted rocks and been false witnesses against them. One person says something derogatory and others pass it along (hearsay) without finding out for themselves whether or not it is true.

People say things like, "God is a gentleman" (totally not in the bible). He would never cause people to shake, fall down, laugh, etc. (there is much evidence to the contrary, even in the bible). And whether you want to call it Revival, Renewal or Awakening, moves of God are messy. Mostly good things happen, like healings of bodies, minds and marriages.

But inevitably somebody does something weird.

One or two people decide to focus on the weird thing and others pass it on (hearsay) without ever checking out the facts for themselves and, more importantly, without even asking God about it. Soon that whole move of God is characterized by that one isolated incident of weirdness.

Many are saying that we are poised for another move of God, perhaps the greatest move since the first church. If there are things that I don't like or criticisms I hear from others, I want to be diligent to seek out the truth and humble enough to ask God what he says about it.

I'm not saying that we should believe everything just because it sounds good either. I used to listen to podcasts by a certain person, who spoke of many fantastic revelations. I had heard some criticisms, but something also seemed a little off to me. I prayed about it and soon saw for myself that this was not good. I did not rely on the criticisms of others, but took what I had heard to the Lord.

When the stirrings of revival start happening, I sure don't want to pelt rocks at it, especially if there are clear indications of the supernatural power of God, like someone's face looking like an angel.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope I have inspired you in some way or even just caused you to stop and think about what you may have accepted or criticized based only on the opinions of others.

Blessing hugs,

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Seek His Face Always

Hello Friends,

The devotional book I read this Monday led me to 1 Chronicles 16:11: "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."

I traced the basic dimensions of a man's face from a book page print-out and finished it off with water colour pencils. I am pretty chicken-hearted about drawing directly into my bible. I don't want to use an eraser on the delicate pages and I don't trust myself to get it right the first time.
When I had finished the face, I read through the scriptures it covered and found the whole portion speaking to me, from verse 8-18. I thought of the promises the Lord has given to me that have not yet been fulfilled and it also reminded me to pray for dear Israel, the apple of God's holy eye.

But what stood out to me the most was the admonishment to "Seek his face always".

Thank you for visiting today.

Blessing hugs,

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Power of Love

Hello Friends,

Today's post is about my special word for 2016 - STEADFAST. To choose my word, I used the guidelines given at His Kingdom Come in the Logos 365 group.

When I started this study, I thought my word was mainly about what I want to become and what I need to do. My first thought was that I would do everything in my power to meet all of my commitments and live up to my own expectations and that of others. I wouldn't let anyone down.

While being dependable is a good goal, and I do my best to be that, I am finding that my word - STEADFAST - is more about who God is than who I am.

HIS PEACE is steadfast and always available to me. I only need to focus my mind on him instead of my circumstances or what is going on in the world. It's not even about thinking nothing bad will ever happen. It's having the full deep assurance in my heart that he is with me. Always.

HIS LOVE is steadfast, whether I succeed or fail. Knowing he is  with me each and every step of the way, gives me courage to do what I didn't think I could do.
I have failed a little on my commitments lately, mostly due to a darling puppy, who is taking up much of my time.

In the past I would have really beat myself up over these failings, but my heavenly Daddy is not upset or disappointed in me. He knows that I will fail sometimes and he is okay with that.

( I also trust that my dear faithful followers will understand why I am taking a few weeks off from making new images for them.)

Another word for steadfast is DEVOTED. The early Christian church were devoted to Christ and to one another. They ate together, enjoyed each other's company, prayed for one another and learned from the teaching of the apostles. It sounds very much like a loving family, which is what the Body of Christ is meant to be.

In John 13:34 Jesus gave his followers "a new commandment" to love one another. The early church was obviously doing that.

Acts 2:43 says, "Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles."

That was the power of Holy Spirit. That was the Power of Love. God is Love. Shouldn't we expect to be filled with his power when we allow him to fill us with his love?

The following video is not a 'Christian' song, but if you can imagine that "I am your lady and you are my man" is the Bride of Christ speaking to Jesus, then perhaps some of the lyrics will resonate a message to your own heart, as it did to mine.
Thanks for visiting my blog today. I realize this is a long post and I appreciate you taking the time to go through it.

Blessing hugs,

Word Art Wednesday - ATG (anything goes)

Friday, 4 March 2016

You Make Me Brave

March: I am Alive in the Spirit - Easter

The following is a devotional article I did for the Take Me Deeper group at His Kingdom Come, a free online faith art community.

March 4, 2016
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8 (NIV)

You Make Me Brave
Bethel Music Kids
(Come Alive)

You Make Me Brave
Teresa Arsenault

Recently a friend posted something on FaceBook that grabbed my attention. It was a quote from Christine Caine, where she observed, while walking through a zoo, that the lions seemed quite tame and docile. Years of captivity and being fed by others had taken much of the wildness out of them.

Holy Spirit gave her this revelation:  "This is what happens to many of us in the church. Jesus created us to be untamed, to be wild, to be undomesticated for the cause of the King and His Kingdom, but we get into the cage of religion and we start to assume this certain persona. We become safe, nice and domesticated." … “Jesus Christ is calling me and YOU onward to a faith-filled adventure!" (Christine Caine)

During the mid 1990s, on the way home from a “Catch the Fire” meeting in Toronto, we pulled into a rest stop gas station with a MacDonald’s. I went in to buy some food while my husband gassed up our tank. 

Standing in front of me in line was a very large, very drunk man. Holy Spirit whispered to my mind, “Tell him he can get drunk on my Holy Spirit and never have a hangover.” I cringed. It was 4 o’clock in the morning. I was alone. This man was big. And he was drunk.

We both got our orders and went to gather our condiments at the same time. The feeling that I should talk to him was very strong. Then another thought came, “Tell him that I love him.” Silently I responded, ‘Lord, if this is you, then have him speak to me fir…’

“Excuse me,” he said, reaching past me for the mustard. Oh boy.

I took a deep breath and did it. “Um… excuse me.  God wants me to tell you that he loves you.”

“What?” The man seemed angry and started glancing around the room. “Who?”

“God,” I replied. “He wants you to know that he really loves you.”

The man’s expression softened and tears started to form in his eyes. He thanked me and said he really needed to hear that.

Then the Lord urged me – NOW.

“And he wants you to know that you can get drunk on his Holy Spirit and never have a hangover.”

A look of shock came over the man and he almost shouted at me, “Do you know where I’ve come from?” He really seemed angry now. “No,” I squeaked.

He went on to tell me that he had just left his wife of 30-some years, as well as his family, and was headed for a hotel room. He had been let go from a job he loved and a company to whom he had been faithful for many years. I don’t know what he planned to do when he got to that hotel room; he didn’t tell me; but he was obviously at an all-time low.

After I gave him that simple message, he was transformed; a man now filled with hope. “He (God) has been after me for a long time,” he told me with a grin. He walked me to my car and opened the door for me, so grateful for this little messenger. His step was light, his face was radiant and he was… SOBER.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;”

When precious Holy Spirit comes upon you; as he did when he filled his disciples with boldness (Acts 4:31); you can step over the line that takes you from fear to faith. You might look (and even feel) like a little pussy cat, but you are a lion. And oh no, not a tame lion. You were created for good works and meant to walk in them. (Eph. 2:10) But you don’t have to do it alone or in your own strength.

“His power at work in you can do far more than you dare ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:21, paraphrased)

I am no more brave or bold than anyone else. In fact, I most often have thought of myself as shy, introverted and cowardly. Most of the time I live a pretty ordinary, tame life, but once in a while Holy Spirit invites me on an adventure. Every adventure is different and some are more daring than others, but each one is like a joyful roar that rises up from inside of me.

I am ALIVE in His Spirit and He makes me BRAVE.

Author’s artwork:
I used Dylusions spray inks, Gelatos, Sharpie markers, acrylic paints, collage and even some texture paste in this mixed media layout. I also incorporated some FaithArt stamps from the HKC shop. This set, by Diane Marra, is called, "How Great Thou Art". I have used other clear stamps, so I was delightfully surprised at the crisp images created by these high-quality acrylic stamps. They have the flexibility of a clear stamp with the clarity of a rubber stamp. For two of the stamps I painted on patches in Gesso and doodled around them with my Sharpie pens; then I stamped the verses.
I heat-embossed chipboard letters with copper powder and added a printed out (Tickell Expressions) verse.
For my girl, I started by outlining in texture paste with a Jane Davenport Artist Cellar stencil. Her face stencils are great for getting you passed the struggle of placing the features just right. I painted the details with acrylic paints.

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I hope you will consider joining our Christian community at His Kingdom Come.

Blessing hugs,

Going Deeper: Read Acts 4:23-31

  1. What happened to motivate the disciples to ask God for boldness to proclaim his word?
  2. Do you think they asked for boldness because they were brave or because they were afraid? Both?
  3. Is there something in your life for which you would like to ask God to make you brave?