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Diamonds

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_your_Heart_Diamonds

You don’t have to like everything you create. Sometimes the purpose of creating is to minister to others or for someone else’s enjoyment. You just need to have a measure of peace with your work, know that you’ve given it your current best and keep learning; keep practicing. For example, I paint a little and have some pieces I don’t like, but the people who own them do, and that’s great— because the artwork was for them and I don’t have to look at it hanging on my wall.

To my fellow writer Brian who inspired this post, I say:

Brian, you have held on for too long to let go now. The lessons learned on the journey prepare us for our destination. Humans are by nature too self indulgent and lazy to spend as much time and tears on something, as you have on your writing, for the desire toward it to not have been set in your heart by your Maker. But talent is a seed and it must be cultivated. So get back to work! Much weeding often precedes reaping a good harvest.

Powerful writing isn’t achieved by merely composing words, but by the pouring out of a heart onto the page.

Write out of your passion

Write out of your pain

Write out of your trials

Write out of your triumphs

Write out of your hurt

Write out of your healing

Write what matters

Write what ministers

Let the scars of your story be heard by others. Doing so diffuses the enemy’s lies and our wounds become weapons of light. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With

The inclination to abandon unfinished work reminds me of those who habitually break up with the person they are dating,  just so they aren’t the one to get dumped. It’s their way of avoiding rejection, failure. They still lose. Sometimes in our efforts to self preserve we self sabotage.

It’s important that you not just write, but finish. Completing a project builds confidence, and confidence silences doubt. -David Corbett

It’s one thing to set something aside for awhile and work on another. It’s a different thing to abandon your work. Fleeing your duty doesn’t save you from failure.

Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out. -Babe Ruth

So, you fell down. Get up! The only real failure is quitting when you are called to carryFullSizeRender-001 on.

You will never know who your work will impact until you put it out there. But first you have to finish.

Natural diamonds take years to form as carbon encapsulated deep within the mantle of the earth is subjected to intense pressure and heat. Something of greater value is created than it’s original state by going through time and process.

Pressure

Life will steamroll you if you let it with the day to day dramas. But as the preacher said,  don’t let the urgent distract you from the important. You will have to make time for what is most important in your life; you will never find it. My priorities are, God, family, and the tasks which fulfill my calling.

Heat

Fire forges; fire purifies.

Elements introduced in the process of a diamond’s formation can also affect its color and clarity. So too trials color our lives. According to my gemologist friend, Robert, the whitest diamonds are found in greatest abundance in Russian mines due to the effect of the extreme cold of the earth’s surface there.

Cold

In those times when I can’t see where I’m  going and I don’t feel like carrying on, I cannot allow my emotions or lack thereof to govern me. My faith in God, His Word and calling for my life lead me. I fulfill  my part by doing the work I know to. I just start and lay one word down on the page, and then another, and another… Sometimes the power is in the going.

Editing is like mining. Like Kimberlite, the volcanic rock, which transports diamonds from deep within the earth to the surface, everything that fires your inspiration is not going to stay. Some of it is just to get your words on the page. Then the mining, cutting and polishing begins.

We too must leave our original sinful state and go through process, if we are to be transformed and into a  new creation- a precious son or daughter of the King of Kings. We are His treasure.  

Time

It takes time to form a diamond. It takes time to form character. And it takes time to form a writer. It took more than two years to cut and polish the Centenary Diamond. The skilled diamond cutter reveals the brilliance of the gem.The better the cut, the brighter the diamond.

Do you want your work to sparkle? Do you want to be the real deal, to reflect the brilliant light of Christ? It’s going to take time and process, becoming transparent and having a teachable spirit. You must yield to the Master’s cut.

I want to be polished and perfected, faceted into His perfect plan.


Writing starts deep in the heart and soul. For me it starts with time spent with God. I cannot write without Him.

With God, the priority is always presence over performance, intimacy over independence. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NKJV)

Jesus is my breath. I pray through every piece I write. I write with Him.

I realize that if I can accomplish something purely in my own strength, those dreams are way too small. Allen Arnold, The Story of With

It’s often a terrible spiritual battle as I write. Doubt and fear hound me, I battle oppression, discouragement, depression and exhaustion. Sometimes the battle is from within; I can be my own worst enemy. But often it is from without.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Writers of truth are a threat to Hell, so we should expect assaults. We need to put on our full armor- be battle ready word warriors and continue to pray for one another.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)

“God,” I said, “why is this so hard?”

“How else will you be able to minister to others if I don’t take you through here?”

Life is demanding; it has a way of taking mad turns. But all our struggles and failures provide opportunity for God to grow us and bring a turnaround. They enable us to encourage others on their journey.  If everything came fast and easy, I’d probably think it was my doing— I couldn’t empathize with others, or learn to lean on God and His approval.  

Much of my inspiration comes from my pain, struggles and failure and my desire to help others. I take my assignments from the needs around me and my God above me. I can invite Jesus into my inadequacies, all my inabilities, for He is my enabler. Jesus meets me in my mess and He is enough. I press through. Sometimes I must write through the darkness and into the light. There comes a point when it’s like the dawn and the fog lifts and God’s presence falls and there is joy.

I know I am small. I have much to learn. But I’m not depending on myself. I’m depending on Christ. Christ is my qualifier and He has a way of making much out of little when we give ourselves to Him. He is faithful, so I hold on, carry on, and write on, for His glory.

“Here’s my pen, Lord.”

Hawk Nelson – Diamonds (Official Lyric Video)

*I take full responsibility for all flaws in myself and in this article. I’m undergoing time and process. Blessed to write for my God; privileged to sit under the mentor-ship of author Jerry B Jenkins as part of his writers guild.

**Special Thanks:

The Gemological Institute of America

LAM Goldsmiths

Maeve

Robert, my gemologist friend, also known as, “my gardener friend.”

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

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Common Sense

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I got my first “hater,” response to one of my articles a few weeks ago on Twitter. LOL! Sigh.

Of course I seek to present truth with grace and pursue peace with all men as I share the Gospel through my writing. To paraphrase several authors though, everyone can’t love you; you have to have some haters too or you must not be really saying anything, believe anything or be making a stand for anything.

If you create work that matters and share it, you will attract critics. – Bryan Hutchinson

We should always look for ways in which critics can help us grow. We should always humble ourselves and listen to voices of disagreement.

The reality is this: You are not in this creativity business to make everybody happy. That’s impossible. What you’re called to do is say something worth disagreeing with, to change the world — in some small way — with your words. If you’re doing that, you’re on the right track. – Jeff Goins

Like rejections, a few “haters,” are part of the process, the road to successful writing and to having a positive impact.

 So, congratulations are in order! Here’s my first one:

  “It would be a lot more efficient to get your religious b.s. out of politics so we can make common sense laws instead of religious ones.” -Nicholas Corey, @flipsidernick2

I choose to instead heed counsel such as this:

So go say something awesome, something worthy of criticism. And if it does get flamed, thank God someone’s listening. -Jeff Goins

Bryan also says to write what scares the _ _ _ _ out of you.

Okay.

Hmm… Speaking of common sense laws- imagine the empty prisons, what a nicer world this would be, if we all endeavored to follow religious laws like:

-Honor your father and mother

-Don’t commit adultery

-Don’t covet, steal, murder…

 Hey! Those religious laws sure sound like common sense to me!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. Psalms 33:12 (NKJV)

 Remember this, America?

The United States of America’s Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. Mark 3:24 (NKJV)

Come together America; Get it together.

But we cannot secure lasting peace as a nation whilst we wage war against the counsel of the Almighty.

My depiction of Uncle Sam represents different races because the racial tensions in our nation greatly grieve me. The schism in our nation, between fellow citizens and in our government also saddens me. Hence, I have shown Uncle sam with two skin colors and eyes of different color and his jacket is split in half, one color on each side representing our two main political parties.

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their per-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” Acts 17:26 (NKJV)

Some need to speak up against racism. Others need to quit fanning the flames of the racial divide.

God will hold us accountable for our words, or our lack thereof.

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)

The moral regression, the voracity of some who wish to squelch our hard won freedoms, and the apathy of others in these matters is of concern. By the grace of God, I will stand for righteousness, hold fast to our freedoms, our Godly heritage, and to the Gospel mandate.

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Matthew 12:30 (NKJV)

And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Luke 7:23 (NKJV)

I’ve had a few things simmering on the back burner for awhile now, including the above painting. Thanks for the nudge, Mr. Corey. God bless you. I’m praying for you.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

To be continued.

© 2017 Rachael M Colby       Tattoo It On your Heart

Broken

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Broken

Lazy rays of afternoon sunlight stretched across the beach, the relentless waves strewing shell and stone along the shoreline. I bent for a beautiful shell partially buried in the whirl of sea and sand encircling my bare feet. It was broken. Disappointed, I flung it back into the angry waters. As it left my hand God spoke to my heart.

“Aren’t you glad Jesus doesn’t treat you like that?”

Jesus walks through the sea of humanity, intentionally seeking the broken, the flawed, the less than perfect. He sets out to rescue and redeem the lost, those battered, even shipwrecked, by the storms of life.

Jesus, perfection personified, gave Himself to bring us to Himself. There’s no need to bury my brokenness, or my wrong thoughts, or feel condemned because of them. God is Holy, but I believe He prefers our honest uncensored prayers to an act, or rote religious dialogue. He knows me; He sees me. I cannot hide from Him. I can let Jesus uncover my sin.  He won’t cast me away when I stumble and fall. He loves me anyway.

He loves you too. Do you need to be found?

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18 (NKJV)

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, life beats us, leaves us breathless, lying on the ground.

I can give Jesus my sin, myself, and what I’m not meant to bear. He carries me when I can’t walk on my own.

My God is a restorer. That’s why He likes to show up when things are broken. Sometimes He needs to break us, so He can make us again.

It’s by way of the road called broken that I am mended. I am made whole as I place my battle weary sin scarred heart in the hands of my Maker.

He brings purpose to pain. With a touch from His healing hand my heart is made whole.

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 (NKJV)

He is the designer of our destiny.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

We are His treasure.

Do you want Him?

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37 (NASB)

I want You, Jesus

I want all of You

Have all of me

Thy will be done

Have Your way in me

You fulfill me

But I am not satisfied

Empty me

Fill me

Teach me your ways

Oh God, I want to know You

You are my sustenance

My life, my breath, my strength

My friend

My God.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)

Matthew West – Broken Things 

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

One

“Everything in me wants to quit right now,” she said.

“You can’t. Not- an- option. That would be flushing all your hard work, and turning your back on the gift God gave you.”

“Suddenly I question everything, especially my abilities as a writer, and I just want to turn and run the other way…”

“You think you have battles now? Remember, there is no armor in the back, so if you turn tail you are more exposed than ever to the enemy. Regret is a miserable bedfellow. It’s harder in the end to go in the opposite direction God’s headed, which is forward.”

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

 Trending

My friend complained that certain media is just propaganda.

“(They) set algorithm to trend only hate and propaganda. The Gospel or anything positive never trends,” she said. “If you watch trending lines, you can tell it’s being manipulated. It’s so negative. We Christians, or positives thoughts, are being pushed off.”

There’s a lot of bad in the media, and in the world. And it’s all pretty trendy. I can pay attention to that and let it discourage, distract and derail me, or I can seize the opportunity to promote good and encourage others.

The Gospel has never been trendy, but it still gets its work done— one by one. Jesus only had 12 apostles and not nearly as many followers as Rome, or the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of the day. And even Jesus’ few followers deserted Him for a time. But that didn’t stop the Gospel.

Your worth is in Christ, not in others. Even if men revered you- what is that compared to the King of Kings and  Lord of Lords calling you His own and loving you?

Never mind what others are doing. Focus on what God is doing and what He has for you to do.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

The Sound of Crickets

“…I know my writing is amateur. I know all these things, but it’s still frustrating putting words out into the world to the sound of crickets….” she said.

If God has called you to a task shouldn’t you get to it?

The only real failure is quitting when we are called to carry on. All else is just the learning on the road to success.

“Lord, You are life giving Living Water. Encourage Your weary word warriors. Refresh our world worn souls.”

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. II Corinthians 4:1 (NKJV)

I believe God created us with the desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to do something that matters. Fulfillment is found in Jesus, and purpose when we follow our calling and use our talents to glorify Him and serve others.

I am called to scatter the seed of the Gospel through His Word and the words God gives me, to lift up Jesus’ name and honor Him. I write for the one and The One. I let God decide what to do with it. The good shepherd leaves the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep.So, even if my words only impact a few, what matters is that I obey God by sharing His truth from the platform He gives me. It’s worth it for the one who hears and follows Jesus. You are one. I am one.

And if my words impact many, I must remember it is:

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6  NKJV

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. I Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV)

Small Potatoes

A friend recently referred to her writer website as “small potatoes.” Let me tell you a story.

Dwight was only four years old when his father died, leaving his mother to raise his family of nine children on their farm in Northfield, MA. His formal education ended in fifth grade. He moved to Boston at 17 years old where his uncle hired him to work in his shoe store, under the condition he attend services at Mt. Vernon Congregational Church. On April 21st, 1855 his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, took the time to pay a visit to and share the Gospel with the young shoe salesman. Dwight L Moody accepted Jesus as his savior and became one of the leading evangelists of his time. He also founded the Moody ChurchNorthfield Mount Hermon School, the Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers.

Look at the chain reaction of influence and conversions of men who became preachers:

Edward Kimball, volunteer Sunday School teacher ⇨

 

D.L. Moody- “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” ⇨

FB MEYER.jpg

F.B Meyer- “Let us, therefore, not live in the summer‑house of emotion, but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God.” ⇨

Wilbur Chapman- “Anything that dims my vision for Christ, or takes away or cramps me in my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me; and I must, as a Christian turn away from it.”⇨

Billy Sunday- “Stopping at Third adds no more to the score than striking out. It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.” ⇨

Mordecai Ham- “When’s the last time you asked God for something that was beyond your ability?”  ⇨

Billy Graham

Billy Graham has preached to more people than anyone else in history.

And it all goes back to a volunteer Sunday School teacher who took time to share the Gospel with one.

Every soul impacted by each of these preachers and each of their converts is the fruit of Mr Kimball’s decision to minister to one.  I wonder who led Mr. Kimball to Christ?

We are tools and seeds in the Master Gardener’s hands. Jesus is the sun shine and the rain that makes the seed grow and bear fruit. I must use what I have for God and leave the results up to Him.That’s enough to keep me busy and blessed till He takes me home.

“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.” – Billy Graham

“When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”- Billy Graham

Remember, it’s by grace.

His grace will take you from the place called, “small potatoes,” to the plans He has for you.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34 (NKJV)

RESOURCES

 The Story of the Chain of Conversions of Famous Evangelists.

D.L. Moody

https://www.moody.edu/about/our-bold-legacy/d-l-moody/

Biography: The Life of Dwight L. Moody, by his son, William R. Moody

D. L. Moody books

F.B Meyer

F.B Meyer Books

Wilbur Chapman

Wilbur Chapman books

 Billy Sunday

http://www.billysunday.org/

Billy Sunday books

Mordecai Ham

The Day Billy Graham Found Christ

Billy Graham

https://billygraham.org/

Jesus Saves and Ordinary Farm Boy (Billy Graham’s conversion story)

Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham

Billy Graham books

*Update on My Daughter, Abby’s Mission Trip Here:

She is His https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/blog/

Nepal_Mission_Trip_abbysmission.wordpress.com_A.M_Views_

                                                       A. M. Views, Kathmandu, Nepal   -Abby Colby

**Please Note: I made necessary revisions to my prior post entitled, Happy Birthday America. If you read it beforehand, please take a moment to read the revised version.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Happy Birthday America!

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_America_Tree.JPG

Happy Birthday, America!

My, how you’ve grown, and how I love you. But it seems like you are leaning away from The life giving Light.

***Please note: Corrections and revisions have been made to this post as I became aware of the need. A * indicates content added or updated on 7/4/17 or thereafter. In my attempt to report truth, I will continue to add and update this post with confirmed quotes and verified links as I research. Your comments are welcome, and help with this process would be greatly appreciated. God bless. Rachael M Colby

Re-posted from July 4th, 2016 with added entertaining and enriching history videos and other resources for families and those who love to learn.

*“Let us, then, search the Scriptures … The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God.” – John Quincy Adams, from a letter to his son dated September 1811 from, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings by John Quincy Adams (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850).

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Isaiah ‭5:20-21 NKJV‬‬

By letting go of the Godly principles upon which we were founded, we trample underfoot the names and the precious blood of those who laid down their lives to secure our great country’s freedom.

* “…the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained…”-George Washington,  Inaugural Address of 1879

* While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. –George Washington, General Orders, 2nd May 1778

Education is useless without the Bible. The Bible was America’s basic textbook in all fields. God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.  Noah Webster

 “A Thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”  – Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted in Stepping Stones, the Complete Bible Narratives, 1941

In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed … No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.  – Noah Webster, Preface Noah Webster Dictionary, 1828

Liberty's KidsVIDEO: Liberty’s Kids  – We the People (The Constitution)

Dear Church,

We are called to be Light bearers. It is easy to say what a mess our church, our country, or world is, but the responsibility of moving God’s heart on our behalf rests squarely on the shoulders of the Christian. Before we can effectively pray for our church and nation we must first get ourselves right with God. We can’t give to others what we don’t have.

Judgement, repentance, and revival begin in the Church. He is a holy, jealous, passionate God. He will not share affection with any other gods or idols in our life. He wants to be our first passion, our go-to. He is calling us to return to our first love and do the first works.

It’s the Church that has made herself right with God that will move God’s hand to bring healing and revival to our families, churches, country and world. What if we each became broken before God and repented of our sin? What if we fell on our faces and sought Him for Himself, for that personal relationship and because He is worthy?  Not just for what He can do for us. I believe then we would see what we were looking for.

Awake! Cast off sin, distraction and trivial pursuit. Let us lay our hearts, our lives before our King. Re-enlist in the army of the ultimate freedom fighter, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life to free the souls of mankind from the bondage of sin.

* “….You, Gentlemen, act the part of pious Christians and good citizens by your prayers and exertions to preserve that harmony and good will towards men which must be the basis of every political establishment; and I readily join with you that “while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support.” -From George Washington to the Synod of the Dutch reformed Church in North America

“That book, sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests…”  – Andrew Jackson, reportedly while on his deathbed, and pointing to the Bible.

If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” – Ronald Reagan, Remarks at an ecumenical prayer breakfast in Dallas Texas, August 23rd, 1984

If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.    II Chronicles 7:14

SONG: United States Pledge of Allegiance  (Lee Greenwood )

To fully appreciate what we have, and to ensure we maintain our liberty, it is crucial that we know and understand history and teach it to our children.

***Please note: Corrections and revisions have been made to this post as I became aware of the need. A * indicates content added or updated on 7/4/17 or thereafter. In my attempt to report truth, I will continue to add and update this post with confirmed quotes and verified links as I research. Your comments are welcome, and help with this process would be greatly appreciated. God bless. Rachael M Colby

People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.”  – Edmund Burke,  Revolution in France 

VIDEO: The Lost Secrets of Liberty – *Includes some little known and surprising facts about the Fourth of July and Independence day.

Courtesy of: Heirloom Audio Productions- Bringing history to life for the whole family. Check out their exciting dramatized audio adventures based on the works of G.A. Henty http://www.heirloomaudio.com/

LINK TO: Heirloom Audio’s YouTube channel  

*LINK TO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES WEBSITE:  https://www.archives.gov/

* https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/american_originals/inaugtxt.html

* http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-15-02-0016

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0187

Liberty's Kids

LINK TO: Liberty’s Kids  History Cartoons for Children YouTube Channel 

*LINK TO: WEBSTERS DICTIONARY 1828 http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Quotes

*LINK TO: RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 

https://reaganlibrary.gov/https://reaganlibrary.gov/sspeeches

https://reaganlibrary.archives.gov/archives/speeches/1984/82384a.htm

*LINK TO HANOVER COLLEGE: https://www.hanover.edu/ https://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/111burke.html

 

© 2016 – 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Be Wary of Comparing

Be wary of comparing. It’s a wretched road which leads to  self-doubt and discontent. Stop. Look to God.

God withholds no good thing from us. So, to be jealous or discouraged because of someone else’s success is like accusing God of denying or not knowing what’s best for us. It’s an attempt of the heart to mutiny against the Lordship of Christ. God makes the path, sets the pace and wants to patiently, lovingly, bring us to the destiny He has for us.  DSCF8135-002

I understand massive spiritual assaults, like apathy and doubt. Sometimes I’m so exhausted and discouraged I feel like my pen weighs a ton and it’s so hard to pick it up and write. I understand no time, little support, feeling overwhelmed— and procrastination.

I am acutely aware of my inability and shortcomings. And I’m so grateful for Jesus’ guidance and empowerment to overcome.

Others inspire, challenge, and teach me. But Jesus calls me to follow Him, and by His grace, to become the best me I can be for Him.

A lump of clay is of little use until it is yielded to the molding of the potter’s hands. It’s value is determined by who the potter is and his workmanship.

So it is also with us. We are dust, clay- and Jesus is the Potter. Like a lump of clay, our existence lacks significance until we fulfill our purpose. Our first purpose is to know Him; He created us for relationship with Him. We cannot form ourselves into what God’s intent is for us. We are truly nothing on our own.

It’s as we place ourselves in The Master Artist’s hands and let Him work out our imperfections, mold and shape us into the vessel He intends for us to become, that our identity, purpose and value is realized.

God makes no duplicates, so why compare myself?

God does not judge greatness or reward according to talents and accomplishments, but rather, by the intent of the heart and faithful stewardship to His calling.

There are no insignificant tasks when I am doing what God has called me to.

There is no less than or better than, in God’s eyes- just obedience or disobedience to His will.

You cannot attain anything greater than the destiny God has for you. We are all called to greatness in God.

Jesus is a hands on kind of Maker. We are His workmanship.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Have you allowed the enemies of frustration, doubt and fear to hinder you? What are you going to do about it?

What has God called you to do? Do that. What are your gifts? Don’t doubt them- develop them.

It is my responsibility and God’s desire for me to use my gifts for His glory and to serve others. If I do that, I will have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be proud of either, because it’s all given  by Him.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

So, to my writer friends I say, sit your butt down in the chair, and just write! Just start. Lay one word down on the page and then another and another… Pay Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Wield_Your_Swordattention to your heart and the stress, and the mess, and the blessed around you. It’s all  potential writing material.

There’s a whole hurting, dying world out there waiting for a glimpse of Jesus and his grace and power. Your words can be the window.

Don’t draw back— carry on soldier. Write on. Let’s press the battle to the gates.

Yes, we all have much learning and growing to go. So, “Go!”

(In His grace.) 🙂

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

In Step With My Father

I remember Daddy holding my hand as we entered the gates to the botanical gardens, Wrigley’s gum, Elephant Ear pastries, Matchbox cars, him carrying me when I was hurt, and scraping every speck of black pepper off my food. And bumper cars. I hated them, but I never told him because I liked to hear him laugh- and we were together.

Tattoo-It_On_your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Blue_Mountains-003

He was pale and shaky after riding the corkscrew roller coaster. We made kites with bamboo and tissue paper. They always crashed, but that was okay. I remember us driving way too fast on the windy island mountain roads in his little ultramarine Triumph Spitfire. He would get upset when I fared better with a drop line than he did with his expensive fishing rod.  Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Fishing Boat_Jamaica

*This piece, In Step with My Father, was originally posted on 6/10/2016. Some revisions and additions have been made.

You gave her the tie dye set. You get her cleaned up!” said Grandma as she pushed us outside. A bucket of soapy water, a scrub brush and our stifled laughter under the mango tree. Pinned to the clothesline, my brightly colored creation flapped happily in the breeze. I loved that hat!

He gave me a piano, like Schroeder’s in the Peanuts comic strip. I  played it as loud as I could, because I thought it would make him visit sooner.

I pretended I didn’t know him when he took me to Disney World. Fearing someone might recognize us, I walked several feet ahead, or behind, because I thought his camera bag looked like a purse. Tears coursed down my cheeks when he wouldn’t let me run off for the day with the boy I met at the resort. All the boys were afraid of my daddy.

He was a businessman. He laughingly called me his “rapacious little capitalist” for running my underground fudge business at school. I made over $1000 before they caught me. We were proud of the “F” I received for my class presentation on a controversial topic. I did a good job on it; I stood for what I believed. When I ran away, he followed me.

Daddy had his problems, but he loved his children and grandchildren. Sometimes he missed the mark. We all do, some more than others. But God will use imperfect fathers, imperfect people, to guide our lives sometimes, if we let Him.

Then, one day he was gone. Just. Like. That. No warning. I didn’t know that was our last “I love you.” I wasn’t ready. But God is the one who numbers our days; He said it was time. We have a finite amount of time to love, to know, to understand and reconcile with each other. He wasn’t a perfect father. None of them are, you know? Except for one.

God is the only perfect father. He is a father to the fatherless. Jesus went to great lengths to meet us where we are. He left his throne in Heaven, donned human flesh, and died to save us from our sin, and reconcile us to Himself. He loves us in spite of ourselves. But we have to accept Him.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. Psalms 68:5

“Daugh-tah, come here. Child of mine. I love you so much, yuh see.” my father would say in his accent. God calls me daughter too, he calls me to himself. He wants to call you son or daughter too. God wants to do life with us. And when people fall short of our expectations, and our needs aren’t met, God is always there for us. He is our sufficiency, the difference maker. He is enough.

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.   ‭‭John‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”   Romans‬ ‭8:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, daughter, son, is there a breach that needs mending? Will you start the journey to restoration? Just take one small step. May I suggest the first one be to pray; and the second, forgive? Maybe you won’t get where you’d like to on this side of eternity. Maybe you are only able to take those first two steps. That’s okay. Just start, and let God be God, the mender of hearts. Extend grace, like God does for us, even though we don’t deserve it.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”   Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”   Matthew‬ ‭18:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

7 x 70 – Chris August

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.   ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Blessing – Jim Trick

Dads- your children, your wives, your country needs you. Will you step up to the plate?

“Here I am Father. Forgive me. Help me to step in Your footprints, and walk a little closer with You Jesus.”

Lead Me – Sanctus Real

Yeah, you are probably going to mess up sometimes, stumble and fall in the process. But God will pick you up. He’s like that.

Good, Good Father – Chris Tomlin

LINK TO: The Father Effect, Movie – 3 Minute Trailer (*Warning: Contains some sensitive material) 

John Finch grew up the youngest of 3 boys in a suburb of Dallas where he lost his father to suicide at age 11. As a young man, John did anything he could to avoid confronting the wounds he suffered as a result of being fatherless. His craving for affirmation from a father who was not there to provide it, led him to…  http://thefathereffect.com/about 

RESOURCES

Encouraging Dads Project- Stories and resources to encourage dads Creating a community where we can share positive stories and ideas about becoming better and stronger fathers.

Encouraging Dads: 30 Short Stories That Inspire & Encourage Dads Kindle Edition

 Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

To speak with a family help specialist, request resources, make a donation over the phone, inquire about general information, or to report a problem, contact us at the number below.

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    1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)
    Mon – Fri: 6am – 8pm (Mountain Time)
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    Focus on the Family
    8605 Explorer Drive.Colorado Springs, CO 80920-1051

Family Life Ministries -Help for today. Hope for tomorrow

Link to my post entitled, Forgive   

©2017 Rachael M Colby

Tattoo It On Your Heart