Sufficient Grace

In 2 Corinthians 12, we have the glorious opportunity to have truth poured into our hearts through Paul’s testimony. Paul was an incredible man whom I admire greatly and I believe there is much to be learned from him and his life. I also believe there is ample opportunity to relate to him and apply his struggles and his testimony to our own lives.

In this chapter, Paul discusses his weakness and how he will not boast in anything but his weakness. In verse 7, he mentions how a thorn was given to him in the flesh to keep him from becoming conceited. This symbolic thorn weakened him and restricted him in certain areas, perhaps in areas that he would be more likely to rely on himself rather than on God. This thorn was a bothersome thing and a painful thing, it was a weakness.

This thorn ailed him so much that 3 times he pleaded with the Lord asking Him to remove it, but the Lord said to Paul in verse 9, one of my favorite passages in the Bible, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” Paul goes on to say that therefore he will boast all the more gladly of his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon him. Paul’s attitude toward this weakness in his life totally changed after hearing from the Lord. He begins by asking God to be delivered from this thorn, but after hearing from God, no longer was he praying for it to be removed but even goes on to say, “I will boast all the more gladly of it.” God turned the thorn into an instrument to bring Paul to a greater experience of His power working in his life. He learned to boast in that thorn, because through it he came to a deeper relationship with God where he knew more of His power in his life than he’d ever known before.

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I believe we can all relate to Paul and his thorn in the flesh, a thorn that weakened him and caused him pain. We all have something that ails us, something that we have pleaded with God to remove from us, whether that be physical or emotional. We all have setbacks and weaknesses that seem as if they are so out of place and life would be so much better if they were absent from our lives. But how wonderful and comforting it is to rest in the truth and the hope that our Father knows what is best for us and what is required to keep us from becoming conceited.

Paul’s testimony speaks to me and I desire to have the same mindset and attitude he had toward his thorn toward my own weaknesses. There are many days I do not understand the restrictions God has allowed me to have, but I have the assurance that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6). The Holy Spirit comforts my soul day after day and reminds me that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). I want a kind of faith and humility that says “God, for Your sake, I am content with my weaknesses. If my weakness is bringing you all the more glory and if You are using my setbacks to build Your kingdom all the more, so be it.”

IMG_0426How encouraging it is to hope in the truth that our setbacks and our various weaknesses are not in vain, they are not without purpose. Not only can we rejoice in suffering because it produces perseverance, but we can boast in our setbacks because we have assurance that God’s power is perfected in them and that He is working everything out for the good of those who love Him. Let us take pride in our weakness for the sake of Christ’s name being lifted higher and His power being more evident in our lives.

God’s power is greatest when we are at our weakest and what we need most in our weakness is God’s sufficient grace. His grace is a grace that meets us where we are. It is a grace that deepens our faith and that forces us to trust in God alone. It is a grace that allows us to pour out everything we have in front of Him and bring all of our weariness to His rest. It is a grace that is sufficient to pull us back up and say, “My power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Paul learned to glory in his thorn because it was an instrument through which the power of God was demonstrated in His life. I pray that our faith is expanded and we are brought to a place of humility that says, “God, I boast in my weakness and I am content in my weakness if it brings your name all the more glory and honor.” No matter what you are going through, His grace is sufficient for you and He will see you through. May the greatest answer to our prayer be not taking us out of the circumstance, but God’s all-sufficient grace taking us through the circumstance with a strengthened faith and a humble spirit. Let us lean on God with all of our weight, for when we are weak, then we are strong.


Written by Kristen Bremner. Photos by Naomi June.

Master Piece in Progress

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Back in 2014 while I was working in Southeast Asia, I became very fascinated by the idea of having a tent at home, which would signify the Holy presence of God. I wanted a refuge, a resting place, a space where I can always go to encounter the One I love. Yes the Spirit of God is everywhere and is not restricted by manmade things, but there is something very special about having a designated place for the person that you most honor and treasure.

I was engaged then and due to fly back to London to be married in a few months’ time. I called my fiancé then, hubby now, and asked whether we could have a tee pee tent at home. He said yes! So this tent has been my place of intimacy, rest and soul-searching. It is where I bring my utmost brokenness, joys and mysteries to the One my soul delights in.

When it came to the time of forming some kind of a brand for this artwork-making business, I had this logo in mind. It came to me one time while I was worshipping the Lord.

I had no pen and paper with me so I quickly sketched it with my finger on iPhone using the doodle app, not wanting any detail to slip away. I saw something like the shape of a tee pee tent, and wings on both sides, overlooking the thing in the middle. That reminded me of the cherubims that guarded the ark of the covenant. At the same time, I had this thought that the name should start with an A, which is kind of like the shape of the tent in the logo. Then suddenly, it all made sense! “The Ark of Presence, where Love and Glory dwells” became the identity of the brand.

Moses said to God, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
(Exodus 33:15-16)

My hope is that everything about The Ark would breathe the glory of God. If the Presence of God is not in this, it would be completely in vain.

So, the hands and the heart behind The Ark is this girl (or rather married woman) who adores wild daisies, succulents, cacti, leaves, branches, trees, sunshine, extremely warm weather, the sea, pebbles, seashells, sand, being in water, adventur-ing with flip flops and backpack, scented candles, open space, quietness, joyfulness, childlikeness, reading while sipping tea, genuine love songs, dance performances that make you cry, vulnerable story-telling, and different cultures in the world.

I am a lover of love and beauty – a lover of the Person of love and beauty and glory and grace and truth – the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my beginning, my process, and my destination – in all of my existence and everything I do. He brought me from death to life; an amazing, hope-filled, darkness crushing and light-shining life.

I am an art psychotherapist by training and have had the privilege of using the profession to reach the lost, bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free. Before that I was a graphic designer / art director. I had left the design career to carry out the current ‘mission’ God laid on my heart.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetHowever, I have never actually stopped creating. A couple of years ago I found myself feeling rather discontent about the gifts I was buying for friends’ birthdays, weddings, Christmas, special occasions or simply to show encouragement. I started to hand-make different types of art pieces to give to family and friends and strangers (this is a ‘custom’ that I developed as a child, I’m grateful to my parents who loved and kept the endless Disney cards I painted for them).

In October 2016, after a series of amazing events and encouraging words from friends, I decided to step out and start a tiny, tiny little online business, selling ‘stuff’ that I make. Jesus called me to start The Ark, to create and sell artworks for His glory; to bring hope, light and love to this weary and broken world. I had very little idea how it might work. And I am still learning a lot each day.

I had a lot of struggles to start with. I was afraid my work was not good enough, that it’s not worth looking at, that people wouldn’t be interested, that it’s going to be a failure, that it was just a projection of ugly self-ambition. However, the Lord Jesus and my wonderful hubby keep encouraging me and spurring me on the right track. It is so easy to get back to that dark loophole and compare with others and lose the vision and the joy of creating, but I thank God that ultimately He defines ‘success’, not me, not anyone else. If I seek to please people, I lose everything. But if I seek to do everything for the glory and pleasure of Jesus, I would be the richest I can be. I have learnt and am learning that I always just need an attitude of a daughter making something for her Father – all love and no fear.

Everything in The Ark is hand-crafted by love, inspired by nature, and filled with life-giving thoughts. It is my passion to impart encouragement, childlike hope, joy, love, and dreams to the world.

One piece that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for a while, and I’m thrilled to release, is my new “Master Piece in Progress” tote bag*. The inspiration for this bag came from the book of Ephesians: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph2:10) and a quote by Sophia Bush: “’You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.”

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I am astounded that God would call us His masterpiece. We are created in His image – the image of pure love, light and holiness. His wonder is placed inside of each of us, no matter where and when and how we are born. We are created in Him, through Him, for Him – our life purpose is to worship and enjoy Him. I find it extremely easy to appreciate the beauty of God, but the beauty of myself? I’m not so sure. However, God calls us His masterpiece. He creates as He speaks. Even when we’re not quite there yet, that’s how He sees us.

I’ve been learning to give grace to myself and the rest of broken humanity – which includes anyone from a family member who gets on my nerves to traffickers who sell and abuse people for money; from the most well-off and arrogant person in the world, to street children who don’t know their worth and cannot imagine anything beyond picking food from garbage dumps.

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I pray that this bag will serve as a reminder, wherever you bring it, that we are all hand-crafted by the Artist of the universe – unique and holy and made for love. We all deserve respect and honor; and at the same time, we all require patience and grace from others, because we are all “not quite there yet”. But the process is beautiful. Because the Artist is beautiful. I am so thankful that I get to share a piece of my heart with you in this simple tote bag.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
-Pablo Picasso

I give all the glory to my amazing God – the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit – the Creator of creators, who loves and inspires me daily; who has given me courage to be me, and a fearless heart to dream again.

-Bonny

*Artfully Seeking subscribers receive 10% off their tote purchase until April 18, 2018.

Writing Faith

The Bible tells us that the righteous live by faith, not by sight, but that is easier said than done; after all, it’s easier to trust what we can see than what we cannot. Some reference this verse as basis for the claim that faith is blind, but it isn’t! Living by faith, doesn’t mean we close our eyes and minds to what we are able to see and comprehend; it simply means that in addition to acknowledging the visible, we also believe there is more beyond it and choose to live for and according to that larger reality.

img_9542But the truth is that even what we can see isn’t always trustworthy, mainly because we don’t see everything. Sometimes things stay hidden for a while—or forever—and other times we just stop seeing. We can be looking at a deeper truth—be in a face-to-face stare-down with something previously hidden but now revealed—and never see it, because we have allowed ourselves to believe that what is apparent on the surface is all there is to see, and so we simply stop seeing. But faith tells us there is actually more, and living by it requires us to train our mind’s eye not to settle for what is visible, but to go digging for what is hidden behind, beneath, on the periphery, or in any of the minute yet infinite spaces in between.

img_9547Consider those Magic Eye images that were all the rage in the 90s. You remember: the ones that look like random 2D computer patterns but that actually contain 3D images only visible to those who are able to consciously shift how their eyes focus (on the “distance” behind the surface pattern rather than on the pattern itself). The ability to override the eyes’ automatic focus reflexes does not always come easily; in fact, some never master it, mainly because they give up. But that doesn’t mean the hidden images and scenes cease to be there. Because they are there, whether or not we see or acknowledge them. Knowing that and choosing to continue trying to train the brain to take over conscious control of an automatic muscle function—well that is an act of faith, a choice determined by what is unseen rather than what is presented at first sight or first effort.

No, faith is not blind. It is simply a different kind of vision, one that requires a lot of intense training over the span of a lifetime. That training comes, more often than not, in the form of a choice, forced though it may be: the choice to walk wide-eyed into each moment expectant and in search of the hidden things that will eventually be revealed only after we take the step. It is the choice to say yes to the hard stuff that will be required of us in our search for those hidden things, even when we have no inkling that they even exist, let alone what they may be. Faith understands that first-sight is not only-sight and that it may not even be accurate, and it requires a suspension of judgement and a divine level of patience that bring us face-to-face with our own insufficiency.

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Art challenges our sight, our vision, our paradigms for interpretation. Creating art, on the other hand, challenges our faith. It propels us into the battle for the hidden things in our own lives. At least that has been my experience with the creation process, especially with writing. When I read what others write, I am challenged to reconsider my conclusions about life, my paradigms, and my preconceived notions about the human experience; I am challenged to see what they see. But when I write, I am challenged to see what is still invisible in my internal landscape, and then to make it visible.

Writing is where faith rules and trains my sight to see the truer realities that exist beyond, that inhabit the space underneath, behind, above, on the periphery, and in all those in-betweens.

I could easily accept the surface-level narrative offered to me for what it appears to be, but if I want the real story, then I must go to battle for it on the page. I must fight to get past what I see with my eyes to immerse myself in the vastness beyond the limitations of my human nearsightedness.

I have been told that to be a writer, one just needs to write. Write, write, write! Write what you see; write what you feel; free write, journal, jot down thoughts and half-thoughts. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good, just get it on the page or on the screen. Exercising the writing and imaginative muscles is what strengthens them over time and theoretically equips a writer to eventually produce good content. And I agree with that theory. Until it’s time to make myself sit down and actually put it into practice.

img_9541For some, the activity of writing is more enjoyable than for others, and for some, the biggest dilemma is which of their many ideas to explore and flesh out first. I know I’m supposed to write—Pops has made that clear—but it isn’t usually enjoyable for me; it’s more like a battle. And my biggest dilemma hasn’t been that I have too many ideas. In fact, until recent months, it was that I really had no ideas at all. So making myself sit down to do it is really hard, almost scary: What if I really don’t have any ideas, and what if I can’t get any words out? Then suddenly a story appeared in my mind, and it came out fairly easily. Whether or not it is good writing is always debatable, but that isn’t really what’s important to me right now. The important thing is, I wrote something. I walked into the battle being waged between the visible and the invisible, and I won. The words on the screen document that fact, and regardless of what anyone else thinks of that story, I think it’s breathtaking because of what it took to produce it and because of the invisible realities and truths it brings to sight.

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Months passed, and then suddenly another story came—a continuation of the first one, which surprised me, since I believed the first was just a one-off. This new one was shorter, simpler, yet significantly harder to work out. Hard enough to make me cry actual tears, but important enough to the training of my faith that I could not walk away from it. So, once again I went to battle. Wounds were exposed, but safe places were also established. The battle I fought once again lives on the screen in words I can see with my physical eyes, and the victory contained therein astounds me even more than the first did.

img_9558A few more weeks passed, and again, when I was certain this sudden spurt of story-writing was still just an anomaly, Pops said, “There’s more. Go ahead, my daughter.” Only this time, I know it won’t be a one-off, and I know now that what seemed like isolated one-offs were actually parts of something bigger. He has not given me the entire outline, but instead has invited me to journey through it with Him one step, one scene, one battle at a time. And I have a choice to make. I know my heart will bleed, I will shed tears, this will hurt, and it will be hard. Do I run away? Or do I put my hand in His and jump into the vast as-yet unseen?

Writing is becoming my trust fall. It’s where I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. It’s how I learn to walk by eyes-wide-open faith and to defy the limitations of status-quo, surface-level living. Writing is also becoming my fight song. The hardest step to take every time I am beckoned back to the page is saying yes, but every word already birthed is a reminder that the yes is worth it, that choosing faith over sight is worth it.

And so I write. I write to find the life preserver, to cling to my Rescuer, to peer beyond, to defy limitations, to exercise my voice, to walk by faith and not by sight, to uncover the life of freedom I’ve been promised and live it indeed.

Written by Amber Crafton // Photos by Lindsay McMullen

Generation Distinct

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Generation Distinct began with a 20 year old girl who was called by God to pursue a big dream for her generation. 

Generation Distinct is not my dream. It is God’s dream for this generation and for this world.

It all began when I looked around at my own generation and realized so many of us were settling for the mediocrity the world expects of us.  I noticed so many of us were leaving the Church in masses. I realized there was so much potential for good and world change in our generation because we are passionate and we have big dreams and yet we were leaving that potential untapped and unnoticed.

I started to think, “God, someone has to do something about this!” 

Someone had to tell our generation we have so much potential that must be leveraged.

Someone had to tell our generation we don’t have to wait until we are older to make a difference in the world for Your glory.

Someone had to tell our generation we don’t have to walk away from God to find our adventure.

Someone had to call our generation to something greater.

I said, “God, someone has to do this.” 

He responded in that moment and said, “That’s right, Hannah. How about you?” 

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I almost pulled out my birth certificate to remind God how unqualified I was to start something and to carry His vision for this generation. I said, “No God you don’t understand, I’m really young. I don’t know what to do. I am not qualified. I’m young.” 

But He responded back and said, “That’s kind of the point.” 

If I have learned anything through the adventure of Generation Distinct it’s that God doesn’t care what your age is when He calls us to change the world…He still calls us.

And I’ve learned He doesn’t care how old we are or how young we are when He calls us to live a great story.

Before I knew it, a team was gathered and, suddenly, the dream of Generation Distinct became a reality.

– Hannah Gronowski

What is Generation Distinct?

Generation Distinct is an organization that exists to unleash a movement through inspiring and equipping the next generation to discover their passions and join the adventure of changing the world for Christ.

Generation Distinct INSPIRES and EQUIPS the next generation.

 We INSPIRE the next generation to believe three things.

1) You have the potential to change the world, make a difference and pursue Christ no matter how old you are or how unqualified the world may say you are.

2) There is a wrong you were born to make right.  Injustice abounds in this world, and the next generation’s passion and grit is needed.  When God was creating the plan of the entire world and your name came up, what did He say you would do? It’s time for YOU to believe you have a unique purpose to change the world.

3) A Movement of redemption and renewal can be unleashed in this generation.  Considered by some to be the “ME” Generation while viewed by others as the most justice-conscious and generous generation ever, even our parents, bosses and teachers can’t seem to figure us out. But, God knew this generation would be motivated to work for justice, hungry for a rallying cry, and yearning for a community to rally with. The time is now.

We are the generation to start a movement. 

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We EQUIP our generation to take action on those three things.

1) We create TOOLS. Our Generation wants to take action, they just don’t always know where to start. We want to eradicate that problem.  Generation Distinct produces tools that any person can utilize in order to start making a difference and pursuing Christ no matter their age, place, or experience.

2. We guide you to create your own WORLD CHANGE STRATEGY.

*Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project that is in development! 

3) We invite you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT. We want to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  Generation Distinct gives you that opportunity.  Champions are on the front lines of this movement, spreading the vision in their communities.  They live out the vision and spread it everywhere they go. Find more information HERE!

How would our world change if we, the next generation, discovered the life Jesus actually invites us to live?

He calls us to risk daringly, to surrender everything, and to fight boldly for His glory and to save the lost and to change the world.

The mission He has given us in anything but boring or safe.

This is what we are longing for – A cause greater than ourselves we can actually give our lives to.

“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.” // Romans 8:14-17 (MSG)

THIS is why the vision of Generation Distinct matters.

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If we can inspire a Generation to believe these truths of who Jesus truly is, and if we can give them the tools to actually begin taking action, we believe our generation will be more committed to Christ and doing His work than any generation in all of history.

For more about Generation Distinct, please visit: www.generationdistinct.com

Photos courtesy of Generation Distinct & Hannah Gronowski

The Enoughs, The “If Onlys”, and The Middle

The word enough keeps ringing through my head like the word ex-girlfriend at a John Mayer concert. I don’t feel it. I don’t feel enough.

I worry I’m not enough for my siblings and parents. I worry I don’t measure up with the other two billion college graduates getting jobs and rings and children. I worry people will see me and imagine what I could have been or where I could have gone if only I’m afraid I’m not enough and I’m only an if only.

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Like Wednesdays or Jan from The Brady Bunch, I’m stuck in the middle. And it’s the middle section that’s hard to settle into, but I keep getting a whispered hint that the middle section is the one that I am called to.

DE Timepieces Final-8It is true that I often don’t feel like I’m enough. And that’s because I’m not. I haven’t arrived; I am no one’s savior. I’m climbing with Miley and wandering with Tolkien. If I were perfect (which also happens to be my definition for the word enough, ironically), I would already be there. I would already have washboard abs. I would already be a published author. I would already be married. But I’m not. I’m in the middle. I’m working towards something, each day trying to pull a Samwise and take one step further than the day before.

IT IS NOT A MEASUREMENT OR AN ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL; IT IS THE WILLINGNESS TO STEP, TO DANCE, TO TRUDGE THAT COUNTS.

DE Timepieces FinalAnd as a Christian, the word enough receives a more nuanced definition, I think. It goes through a transformation and is turned into a paradox of sorts. On the one hand, I am not enough. I sinned yesterday, I sinned today, and I will most likely sin tomorrow. Clearly, I have fallen off the boat and am wading with Rose trying to find a door to cling to. I am not enough.

But Jesus is enough. I am enough because of Jesus’ love for me. Where the equation once said, I≠ENOUGH, Jesus inserted Himself rather than me. Now it is JESUS=ENOUGH. When Jesus is in me and I am out of the picture, I suddenly am enough because of the magic of love.

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I will never be enough. But Jesus is. He is enough, and He relieves me of the pressure.

Written by: Drew Brown
Watches by: D E Timepieces

D E Timepieces is a watch company dedicated to redeeming the Time.

What do you make time for?

We have to ask that question. We live in a world with many distractions and constant messages about useless things. As we see the world changing daily we debate what is valuable to us. The more something is valuable, the more time is spent on it. If we spent the right amount of time on things that matter, think about the growth we will have in that area.

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As a Christian, I tend to focus on Jesus, family, ministry and providing. Jesus died for my sins (John 3:16) and in return, I devote my life to Him and the ministry He has for my family and I. Because I have many things to juggle, where my time is spent is important. If it’s not work, it’s time spent with my wife and 3 kids, worship ministry at my church, producing records in my studio, or running multiple businesses. Yeah… It’s a lot.

For my wife Katie, she’s raising 3 kids, home schools and runs day to day things for this company. Not to mention dealing with a baby and a new dog! She’s raising the next generation! It’s a lot of work.

With everthing we have going on, we need time with Jesus. He has blessed our family in ways we could have never imagined. So how do we give a God who has everything something of value? We believe it’s our Time. Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, I still ask the same question. What do you make time for? He created you in His own image. Don’t you think we should give something in return?

Make Time for Him. He made Time for you.

By David & Katie

Shop D E Timepieces here: http://www.detimepieces.com/products

The Great Beholding

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This past year has been one of the darkest, most heartbreaking and scariest seasons of my life. It’s felt suffocating and overwhelmingly exhausting at times. But I give glory to God that I can truly say, in spite of crippling circumstances, my husband and I are learning  beautiful lessons about the grace, mercy and sovereignty of God,  in ways that we never have before. It’s been very easy for me to lose heart, depriving my soul of the joy, hope and peace that Christ gives, but I have seen and tasted of His goodness in the midst of hardship and am so thankful and awed by Him for that.

At the end of last year, I was in a really dark place, questioning anything and everything about myself, but also putting a lot into question about what I knew (or thought I knew) about God. It felt like a constant tug of war, fighting against my doubts, trying to remain confident in not only the character of God, but His genuine heart and affections towards me as His child. During this season, I was searching the scriptures, desperately digging for some sort of solution or answer that resonated with what I was going through and how I was handling it. Years ago, the Lord laid John 15 on my heart to meditate on and memorize, so I began intently reading it and became deeply connected to its message. Each time I am brought back to these verses, they always take on a new and deeper meaning for me. This time in particular, I began reading through them over and over, doing my best to cling tightly to their truth and the Lord immediately gave me inspiration for a song.

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For as long as I can remember, God has used music specifically to speak to me and gave me the passion for worship and songwriting at a very young age. I’ve written a numerous amount of songs, but the songs that I feel deeply connected to and that God has used most in my life,  are the ones that have been written in the dark and devastating seasons that I’ve faced. The song that came from John 15 is one of those timely, life-giving ones for me. God is so good and so gracious, that when I am at my weakest and my heart is the most fragile, he stoops to meet me and plants inspiration. After finishing this song,  I shared it with my husband and we began the process of adding some sort of music to it. My husband and I recently started a band together called The Great Beholding and are slowly but surely preparing for pursuing this aspect of ministry together. Once we finished the writing process, I knew that it was something I needed to share. I know that this song is simple and nothing mind blowing, but  I think that the simplistic, profound words of Jesus in this passage are easily forgotten and we all need to be reminded of them.

IMG_8673Jesus lays out in a nutshell how we are to live our lives and what gives them purpose. When we are in Christ and abiding in His fullness, we are lacking nothing and are overflowing with joy. Submitting our lives to Christ’s call and remaining faithful to Him, brings a satisfaction like nothing else and it gives us the ability to be fruitful and pleasing in His sight. So many times I have fallen short and missed out experiencing His goodness in this way, by taking my own path and losing sight of this truth. It is so applicable and convicting to me on a regular basis and that is why I wanted to share my song on the blog today and be transparent with you all. Praise God that His grace is sufficient and that even in our weaknesses and brokenness, He is mighty to save us from our mess and bring us back to where we belong in Him. I pray that this little tune is an encouragement and comfort to the body of Christ and that it draws you closer and takes you deeper in your walk with Him.  

Listen to our latest song: Abide

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete…” John 15: 1-11

If you’d like to keep up with all of our musical endeavors, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @thegreatbeholding!

Photos & Words: Danielle M. Cosgrove  || Additional photos courtesy of The Great Beholding

Broken Hearts, Broken World

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“Christianity affirms that at the heart of reality is a Heart — a loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God. Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Savior.” // Martin Luther King, Jr.

Romans 12:15 urges us to rejoice in times of rejoicing, and to mourn in times of mourning. We are heartbroken over the loss of so many lives in recent days, weeks, and months. Between corrupt politicians, many injustices, and so much death we are seeing that the days are indeed evil. Ephesians 5:16 affirms this but we are also given a command: make the most of every opportunity.

IMG_8389Another great quote by MLK Jr. tells us how we can do just that: “We need to pledge ourselves anew to the cause of Christ. We must capture the spirit of the early church. Wherever the early Christians went, they made a triumphant witness for Christ. Whether on the village streets or in the city jails, they daringly proclaimed the good news of the gospel.”

This is our purpose, friends — spreading the good news. Recent headlines prove that the heart is desperately wicked and beyond cure on our own. Many devastated people are asking why? They are seeking answers for peace and so some point to gun control, activism, and other human means to remedy our broken world. If you are in Christ, we hold the answer! We have a hope within us that we should be ready to share. We have a Savior that bridges the gap between us and God! He is the healer of hurts and the embodiment of love. Oh, let us mourn. As the church body we should cry alongside the world – for lives were wrongly taken – but let this spur us on to greater love.

We have promises of a day with no more tears or pain. Let our light shine and our love pour down on men, women, and children of every color. The greatest way we can show love is to point others to the Gospel, to Love Himself.

Written by Dianne Jago, founder of Deeply Rooted Magazine.

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“Made this yesterday, not even dreaming of what
could’ve happened last night.

My Father is constant and faithful. He will never change, no matter what the circumstances. I weep for this broken world, a world that desperately needs Jesus. he is mourning with us. he is the same, yesterday and today and forever.”

-Charlotte Pell

 

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Pell. Wall hangings ↠ Etsy Shop.