Tickell Expressions

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?


DebR said...

So love this devotion Teresa! So powerful.
I absolutely adore your art page, you did such an amazing job on it.
It's beautiful!

Pearls said...

Fantastic!! Love your testimony how how God used your knee knocking obedience to change this man's life, yours and mine by stepping out when he spoke to you!! Love the artwork too!

Angela Hoynes said...

Wonderful double spread Teresa. How wonderful to be able to give someone a message from God like that.