I was going entitle this blog ‘Fathers: blessing or not’ and keep it separate from the Creativity Summit, doing another one for that, but as I watched the first of the teaching videos I realised that there was quite a bit of overlap, especially when he quoted from the bible reading for Sunday. In fact, looking at the programme for today, identity seems to be a theme running through it. As the summit vidoes are released in the UK at 2pm, it gives limited time and I have only watched the first one plus a bit of the second one. I had work to do and I did actually want to do something creative today so did some painting. However, I am pleased that the threads seem to be coming together and although I feel disappointed that I didn’t finish my painting, perhaps it will develop through the days.
Fathers: blessing or not?
I have been blessed with a good dad. Sadly he died in 2009 – gosh that’s 11 years ago! I was daddy’s little girl and I could always wrap him round my little finger. The one thing he never got me though was a horse, despite my childhood pleas. But I did get a broach! Although I don’t wear it, it remains one of my treasured possessions.
This morning I started thinking about God as father, and remembered a picture I did in 1988. God is my daddy.
Now I am older and further on in my physical life and spiritual life, I can imagine myself on The Way as a princess. After dad died and I was surprised to realise that I was now an orphan, I was able to sense God saying through verses in Psalm 45: 10Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house, 11and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him.
I was reminded that I’m a daughter of the Most High – adopted, a full heir, born of the spirit, not of human decision. God himself is my Father. Although no longer, humanly speaking, a daughter (a thought which is painful) I am God’s daughter, His beloved in whom he is well pleased. Years ago he showed me this truth when meditating on a church window showing Jesus’ baptism and applied those words to me.
So with those thoughts in mind I plan out a re-working of the God is my Daddy picture.
The outline plan of the picture includes an eagle (see other blog) and an afternoon sun. I worked out that I am in the late afternoon of my life. I am 62 and may live until I am 80(ish). I hope. The shepherd’s staff is not a hope that I may become a bishop, but refers to a poem I wrote many years ago about God’s word being my staff to help on the journey (See page 10 of Are We There Yet pdf).
Based heavily on 2 songs I wrote the start of a poem which I continued at lunchtime having completed a bible study on God our Father in the morning:
Abba – close, intimate
Sovereign Lord of all
loving and gracious
leading your people
I have given you my will
my all, my everything
and You have give me
dignity, self worth
In royal robes I don’t deserve
I live to serve your majesty
as Princess Elizabeth
your beloved daughter
I started work on the painting and for some reason decided to use watercolours.. why??? I find them far more difficult than acrylics. I think I thought I could do something quickly. I found a reference photo and started. I had two sessions, with a walk in between. Not thrilled with it. I have done better. Oh well…. its the process that counts.
In the afternoon I watched the first video of the teaching by Paul Blackham on Colossians. I was struck by the similarity with Ephesians and the verse I daily use in my prayers about being filled with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to know the incomparable power at work in my life, ie the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me. (Ephesians 1:15-22 and Colossians 1:9-14).
The one phrase of Paul Blackham’s that really stuck in my mind is ‘if Jesus is only ‘a’ part of your life, he wants no part of your life.’ In other words, it’s all or nothing. My life was given totally, 100% (or at least that was the intention) back in the 1980s and Jesus has worked a transformation in me. As Paul and another speaker (Breeny Lee) pointed out, true change of life can only happen when the Holy Spirit is at work. We cannot transform our lives ourselves. We can only do so much by sheer will power. It is God’s power at work that can and will transform us.
As I finish my reflection of Day 1, on the morning of Day 2, I consider the painting and am happy that it isn’t finished. I have a feeling that God is going to help me continue working on it over the next few days. It wasn’t meant to be a quick one. Watch this space!
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