Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Making Progress for the Kingdom

Do you like this picture? It's of an orchid bloom that is not quite open yet. Does it remind you of anything? I think it looks like a little lamb face. Ok, you have to ignore the forked tongue that the lamb seems to have! Do you see the lamb? This is the only of my four orchids that has a name. I call it "Jennifer" because that's the name of the person who gave it to me. It has beautiful pink-ish white blooms.

Kingdom Assignment? It's going well. It is taking a little bit longer than I'm comfortable with. I want things to be moving along much more quickly. But, this assignment is about learning to trust God, so I have to wait on His timing. Which, really, is impeccable!

On Sunday I met the principal of the San Francisco City Academy, Marie-France Ladine. The academy is the place that I want to use my $100 for. My idea is that I will help them gather art supplies for the school as well as spend some time each month with the students doing art projects. I'm really excited now! I've got the school working on a wish list of supplies so that I can better gather donations. And she put me in touch with a gentleman at my church who has been doing some art projects at the academy already. When I called him he was so excited that I called because he had been thinking how nice it would be to have someone else working alongside him doing this art thing! Monday I'm going over to the school to see how I can best jump in.

Helping a private school academy doesn't seem like that big of a deal, until you find out a little bit more. This school is located in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco. Not a good place to be, especially if you are child. Sunday one of the students, a 12 year old boy, was at our worship services to share his story. He was a very poised young man who told how he is discovering how much Jesus loves him. His parents do not live together. His mom was going through a rough patch because her own mother had died, so she sent her son to live with his dad. In his own words, the son said, "My dad was doing things he was not supposed to be doing. One day, I saw him on the front porch, I called to him, but he didn't answer me. I went up to him, his eyes were open, but he still didn't answer me. I shook him, but he didn't move. He was dead." Truly, the school and the people there are the only family that most of the students have.

I have a feeling this will be a big thing. What I want to do now is begin gathering supplies. I also need to multiply my Kingdom Assignment money. I think that what I'll do is have a card class for some friends and ask them to donate the class fee to the Academy so we can buy the needed art supplies. I've also been thinking that I could make some really cool framed pieces and sell those. I'm still praying for direction on that part.

I hope to post a list soon so that if you'd like to donate anything you may do so. Stay tuned....

Sunday, March 7, 2010


My daughter asked me this week, "Mom, is it possible to worship God through art?" This morning in church a man who was giving his testimony said that in a moment of worship he began to notice all the different hues of green around him, so he began to count them. At 22 he stopped counting and said, "God, two or three shades would have been plenty! But you didn't stop there. How amazing God is!" Which made me think of the backyard Red-Tailed Hawk that I've been trying to capture on film this week. Two or three different kinds of birds would have been enough, right? But, oh the joy of watching this guy in action! Absolutely we can worship God through art, through His creation, through music...through the development of ourselves in these areas. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kingdom Assignment Day 17

Ho hum. It is raining, windy, grey and cold outside right now. It was raining when I awoke, so the kids and I were not able to go on our walk today. My favorite outdoor lamp just blew over and broke. It's so grey and wet that I can't go outside and photograph the hawks in the back of the house doing their afternoon acrobatics. Oh, and I don't think that I've mentioned here that our rental house is full of mold and we've got to move. Tonight we are looking at the first of what I'm sure will be many looks for a new place to live. Did I say that it is dark and rainy right now? Did I mention that I'm sleepy and would really like a nap? It's been raining all day. Wonder if it will be raining tonight when we go look at the house.

I just saw a hawk, hovering over the big cedar trees behind our house, right out the window of the school room. How do they do that!? Even in the driving rain, they hover as they hunt for their food. They seem to be oblivious to my broken lamp, or my moldy house. They are focused on survival, whatever it takes.

This afternoon I finished reading a book about Harriet Tubman, or "Moses" as she was often called. It was a historical fiction account of her life as a "conductor on the underground railway". What a faith in God she had. What determination she had! In spite of great danger she faithfully held "steady on to you Lord". She never lost a passenger on her railway journeys. She conducted hundreds upon hundreds of slaves on to freedom. "We got to go free or die" she'd say. When the going got tough, she prayed and trusted in God's hand of protection and deliverance. When her way seemed somehow blocked, she opened her eyes wide to what was around her and told God about her fear, but said, "I'm holding steady on to you Lord, steady on to you." Because she knew that freedom is not a right just for a few, but for all people, she risked her life time and again so that others could have freedom.

Harriet's story reminded me what gifts I too have been given in Christ. Who cares about a broken lamp!? The rain is necessary not only for the natural things growing around me, but for the water supply of the state. The grey skies are perfect for nap sun to get in my eyes! What do I really have to complain about? The hawks do not worry about their nest getting wet, they know that all will be well. God is good, all the time.

Can I rest in my Savior, holding "steady on" to Him? Will I let go of myself enough to trust His provisions for me?

I think that this Kingdom Assignment is about just that for me. How far will I be willing to go to honor my God? What small thing might I do that will increase His kingdom? Will I use the talents God has given me in order to bring Glory to Him? These are the things I pray about.

Last night I met with a friend who has some ideas about how we might help a school downtown. The school is in the tenderloin district, not a fun place to be. We talked about how we might gather books in French for their French classes, and/or art supplies for their art classes. My creative juices are beginning to flow!

I'm holding steady on to my Lord now!!