New Little Inspirations

Wednesday, July 04, 2018



Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. - I Peter 4:8

New Batch for Art-o-mat

I am thankful to get off another batch of 50 Little Inspirations to Art-o-mat.  I experimented a bit in this batch.  After some practice, I was happy with a new, loose watercolor floral wreath approach encircling handlettering.

I've challenged myself to post photos each day on Instagram with a Bible verse or inspirational saying.  I may not make it every day, due to business travel, etc, but I will try.  My goal for this blog is to post some blocks in groups.


Special thanks to Alex who helped me paint the blocks and to Clarice for helping me finish some key handlettering.  (She said she wanted to learn!)


Why

I decided to assign these blocks a saying or verse individually in order to give them more meaning.  My goal here is not to demonstrate that I am super-holy or more religious or optimistic than others.  I promise I'm just as rotten at the core as anyone else could be.

Rather, my goal here is to pause and take more time to contemplate the truths that I believe and keep a strong focus on positive ideas.  As my grandmother said, "Whatever goes in will come out."  If I focus on negative things (which life is full of), then those things will show in my thoughts, words, emotions, and actions.  If I focus instead on what is "true, honest, just, and lovely," then I am taking the advice of someone who understood the importance of mental strength during tribulation.  (The Apostle Paul wrote those words to the Philippians while imprisoned.)

"Hold fast to that which is good." - I Thessalonians 5:21b

Little Inspiration 1: Free



Today is the 4th of July, 2018, so today's post is based on a word we take for granted here in the United States:  "free."  We love our freedom, but don't recognize the great privilege we enjoy when so many people in the world are in bondage to corrupt regimes, centrally imposed poverty, sanctioned enslavement and injustice.

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." - Galatians 5:1


Little Inspiration 2: Brave



On this July 4, I am thankful that so many brave veterans and soldiers are and were willing to fight for the freedom my family enjoys.  I stand on the shoulders of many whose names I will never know, but to whom I am grateful.

Even off the literal battlefield of war, life throws many "fiery darts" our way, with capricious aim but startling regularity.  (Ephesians 6)

I love the writings of General George S. Patton, especially on the topics of bravery:

"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man.  All men are frightened.  The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened."

So how does a (naturally) frightened person become brave?  She puts fear in its place, holds onto a steel will, and behaves as a brave person would.

"Courage is fear holding on one minute longer." - Patton

Brave people are not born.  Instead, they summon the nerve to stand up, hold on, and fight.  I pray you will find the courage to hold up to life's challenges today.

Little Inspiration 3: Hope


It's easy to believe the evidence of your eyes.  But can you see clearly your dreams or aspirations for the future?  It takes faith to maintain your hopes.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1



Little Inspiration 4:  Brave


This block has a quadrant of a peony in it.  This is fast becoming my favorite flower to paint.  You will note that I paint some themes multiple times.  Also, you can see that some of the inspirational quotes exhibit crossover between the themes.  (In other words, you have to be brave to have hope.)


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal:  it is the courage to continue that counts." 
- Sir Winston Churchill

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31:24


Little Inspiration 5: Peace

In our hurried and harried world, it can be really difficult to find true peace.


"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." 
- Isaiah 26:3

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." - John 14:27


Little Inspiration 6:  Love

Are you in a relationship that makes your fearful?  Or, do you hold others hostage to your dark feelings and insecurities?  Remember that is not how we are supposed to treat each other.  As my grandmother said, "Love should be simple."


"Perfect love casts out fear." - I John 4:18



Little Inspiration 7:  Free

We all want to be free from gripping stress and gnawing worry.  Prayer can help.


"I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me.  He freed me from all my fears." - Psalm 34:4


Little Inspiration 8:  Strong

Forty years wandering in the wilderness:  that's not something we may have done literally, even though we may feel that we are following a self-defeating path.  The children of Israel, however, did wander the desert for 40 years.  I can see how easily Joshua must have suffered from pangs of self doubts and lack of confidence.  God, of course, instructed him to think in the exact opposite manner.



"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9


Little Inspiration 9:  Love

Do you feel unworthy of love?  Have you done or said things you wish you could take back?  Remember that has never stopped God from loving you.


"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
- Romans 5:8


Little Inspiration 10:  Joy

Sometimes we don't always feel happy, but we can hold on to a promise that one day, we will all be joyful.


"For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12

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I hope that these words helped you today.  If you have a favorite or a suggestion for a verse or saying, please let me know.  Also, if you prefer one of my styles (floral wreath, flower portion, or stem handlettering), please also drop me a line.  I'm always interested in experimenting to make these Little Inspirations better.



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