Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 4 comments


Bob and I spent last weekend in Grand Rapids, MI at ArtPrize, but even after 3 days we still haven't seen it all.  For 19 days, from mid-September through early October, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, both inside and out, is turned into an art gallery with free admission!   Any artist 18 years and older from anywhere can compete, and the fun part is that the public decides who will win part of the $360,000 in prize money.  For the first round of voting - this year September 18-28 - you can vote for as many works of art as you'd like, either on a smart phone or online.  Once the top ten vote getters are announced on September 29, each person gets to vote only once for who they think should win the $200,000 grand prize that will be awarded October 4th.   
 
"He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers." ~ Exodus 35:35
 
I am amazed at the talent God has given many of these artists.  Personally, I'm drawn (no pun intended) to the pencil drawings. . . 
 


 

 

 
Amazing to think those all came from a pencil, isn't it?
 
 
I'm also captivated by paintings that look like photographs, such as these above...
 
 
and pieces made from unexpected objects like this vase made of small pieces of wood,
 
 
...this winter scene made from pieces of glass
 
 
...and this "quilt" made from one piece of WOOD!
 
 
I had to include this piece because I thought it was just plain fun!
 
The juried awards were just announced, and most of them were pieces I didn't cast a vote for.  It will be interesting to see how many of the above show up in the top ten.  I'm guessing I picked a few winners!
 
Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays,
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 2 comments









Last month I had the privilege of spending a week at a cottage with a group of ladies. Because I don't work outside of the home I never used to see the value of getting away, but I've grown to cherish this time to escape my daily routine. Even though it was chilly, the morning views were gorgeous!









Last year I was recovering from surgery and only made it to the cottage a couple of days, but this year I was blessed with an entire week!




This group of ladies don't spend much time together as a rule so there's always a lot of news to share.  Most of us use this time to catch up on our reading and I was no exception, completing "The Harbinger" and "Ablaze with His Glory" - both books I would highly recommend, plus getting a good start on "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus," which is also proving to be fabulous!  Before you start thinking we were sitting around all day, we also took some long walks, did some kayaking and ended each day with a rousing game of dominoes. (Wild and crazy, aren't we?)


Each year - and sometimes each day - there's a different combination of women. The cottage, with two tiny bedrooms plus a couple beds out in the the porch area, was small. One night we had nine of us there - interesting to say the least!  But what it lacked in space it made up for in warmth.  The owners were Christians not afraid to share their faith, and everything on the walls was a testimony.








"You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden...








Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.








In the same way, let your light shine before others...
,







that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:14-16













Father, I thank you for this time You gave me to relax, spend time with others, and most importantly to spend time with You.  Thank you for this witness shouting out from these walls.  I pray that all who see it will be drawn to You.
Lisa



I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 2 comments

Tips for Tuesday

One of the books I read while at the cottage this summer was "Ablaze with His Glory," by Del Fehsenfeld Jr.  Written just prior to his death in 1989 at age 42, his plea for revival is embodied in this book.  Listen to these words penned almost twenty-five years ago:




"The escalation of social and moral ills in our society is alarming; pornography, adultery, divorce, abortion, alcoholism, and homosexuality have all become accepted elements of our social landscape.  Ours is a shattered society, strewn with the wreckage of broken hearts, lives and relationships...These problems of our society are symptomatic of moral and spiritual decay so pervasive that it threatens our very existence.  We can no longer afford the luxury of living for today, blindly disregarding the consequences of what we will certainly face tomorrow.  Spiritual darkness in encroaching on our land, threatening to plunge us into a new Dark Age."

Just think of how much our society has degraded since this was written! "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction." ~ Proverbs 29:18

Our nation is in desperate need of revival, but corporate revival will not come without being ushered in by personal revival.  "God knows how many of us know right and do right, while covering up hearts that aren't right.  True spirituality is measured no so much by what we know and what we do (as important as these are), but by what we really are in our inner hearts before God.  We may impress each other by our knowledge of the Bible, but God isn't impressed if we fail to be transformed by what we know."

Do you spend time reading God's word every day?  Is it something you just check off your to-do list, or do you enter into God's presence to hear what He has to say to you?  Do you then go about your life as usual, or are you begining to look more and more like Jesus?  These are all questions we should each stop and ask ourselves.

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

"Revival, no matter how great or how small in its ultimate scope, always begins with individual believers whose hearts are desperate for God, and who are willing to pay the price to meet Him."  Revival is not for those who don't know Jesus. "The word revival means to bring back to life.  Lost people cannot be revived.  They need to be born again to receive spiritual life."

Revival will not come into our land without it first happening in the hearts of believers.  If we ask God to revive our hearts, I strongly believe this is a prayer God will answer.  If you'd like to experience revival in your life, in addition to reading this book I can highly recommend a Bible study written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom called "Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival."

Father, I thank you that you love us as we are, and yet you love us so much that You refuse to leave us that way!  I pray that each person reading this would hear from You and be willing to open their lives up for Your inspection. Reveal those sins we've blinded ourselves to and empower us to live a life pleasing to You and reflecting that of Your Son Jesus.


Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays,


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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 3 comments


While working on our new fire pit, my husband Bob had a bit of a mishap with the ax.   As he was swinging to chop at the tree whose roots refused to let go, the ax head separated from the handle and went flying.  (Praise God no one was hurt!) I had forgotten about a similar incident in Scripture until I read it in Del Fehsenfeld Jr.'s book, "Ablaze with His Glory." 



Some of Elisha's disciples had asked for permission to build a new dwelling place and, once it was granted, invited the prophet to join them.  "As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh no, my lord!” he cried out. “It was borrowed!” The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. “Lift it out,” he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it. ~ 2 Kings 6:5-7  It's so easy to read verses like this and just keep on going, but Fehsenfeld brought out some amazing parallels to the Christian walk.  







He said the ax handle represents our own natural abilities and efforts, all we are apart from Christ.










The ax head corresponds to the supernatural power and presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.










When we're working in conjunction with God through the power of the Holy Spirit, His supernatural power of the ax head is at work as we expend effort to wield our ax handle.  Unfortunately for many of us, we have lost the head to our ax and haven't even noticed!  We keep ourselves busy with many things and work feverishly, but it seems like we're getting nowhere because we're not! 



Imagine what it would have looked like had the prophet with the ax failed to recognize (or admit) that he had lost the head to the ax - his source of power. Sure, he could keep swinging that handle, he could even make contact with the tree; if he worked hard enough maybe there would even be a few wood chips flying. He could have perfect form with his swing and work intensely, but at the end of the day he'd still have nothing to show for his efforts.

It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?  Yet that, my friends, is what God sees when we try to do anything apart from Him. 

Do you see yourself swinging a headless handle in any (or every) area of your life?  The good news is God not only exposes this dilemma, but in the very same verse He reveals the solution!  All we need to do is follow the prophet's example.  His first response was to cry out to his master (Elisha) for help.  If we call Jesus "Lord," that means He is our master. If Elisha came to the aid of his disciple, how much more will God come to the aid of one of His own? We're all just one cry away from all the power we could ever need! 

Father, so often I call you "Lord" and yet fail to act like you are my master. Please forgive me for all of the times I've attempted to accomplish anything apart from you.  I can see now that all that effort has been for naught. Please, once again connect me with the power of your Holy Spirit, that I might once again work in your power and strength.  

P.S. I intended to tell you more about the book, "Ablaze with His Glory," but this post went longer than I expected.  Please join me again for my next post and I'll tell you all about this must-read!
Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays
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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 0 comments

ORGANIZING
Tips for Tuesday

I recently heard an SOS from a friend of mine who suddenly found herself in a position of making lunches for her children and was feeling overwhelmed with baggies. With another school year upon us, I thought I'd share my sandwich wrapping technique with you.  It's nothing I came up with myself; my mom has wrapped her sandwiches this way since I was a little girl. By using waxed paper not only do you keep the sandwich fresh, but you have a placemat of sorts to put the remainder of your lunch on when it's time to eat.


Start with a piece of waxed paper about three times as wide as your sandwich.  


Bring each side of paper up and hold them together above the sandwich. 



With the two pieces together, fold the waxed paper down in about 1-inch increments until it's flush with the bread. 



On each end, fold the top and bottom edges in to form a triangle. 



Fold each triangle underneath and voila!  A nice fresh sandwich ready to be unwrapped and enjoyed.



Lisa



I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays
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