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Showing posts with the label The Artisan Soul

“His expertise is taking into his masterful care ordinary people who have lived broken lives, and turning our lives into nothing less than masterpieces.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 178). Harper Collins. Kindle Edition.
There are two words in this thought that caught my attention.The first was broken.There are so many in this world have and are living broken lives.They have no hope.

I’m looking at this in my other blog, Bill’s Front Porch.There are so many areas in our life that we need to recover from.Areas such as: Overeating * Overworking * Alcohol/Drugs * Overspending * Grief * Guilt * Anger/Rage * Fear/Anxiety * Divorce * Abuse * Insecurity * Sexual Addictions * Codependency * Habit * Perfectionism * Lying * Hypochondria * Hurtful Relationships * Procrastination * Gambling * The Need To Control.There are so many areas of brokenness and helplessness in people’s lives. One of these could be yours and you see your world through your area of brokenness and you see no way out.Life can be very hopeless can’t it?
The other word that caught my …

“It’s hard to escape the voices that let us know we are nothing but water…”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book,The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art(p. 178). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
I don’t know what voices in your life seem to control who you believe you are.In so many people there is a chain reaction of families who don’t believe in the potential of each other but have the desire to protect them from too high expectation.To some you are just water, just common water and you don’t need to worry, you just aren’t going to amount to much of anything.
And I wonder if that is why the first miracle that John writes about Jesus is of His being at Wedding and of their running out of wine and His mother asking Him to do something about it?  She know who He was. So He took some common water and turned it into wine.He took nothing but water and solved the problem.
That is what happens when something common is placed in the hands of a master.Erwin says, “It’s hard to escape the voices that let us know we are nothing but …

“Release the part of you that wants to protect and open up the part of you that wants to explore.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book,The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art(p. 52). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
I live in greater Los Angeles.There is so much here to experience and explore but to really do it right, you have to get in a car and that is one dangerous thing to do. When I retired, we moved to Long Island in New York.A great place to live but the traffic was horrendous to the point that most people took the train to work in Manhattan and of course to many, Manhattan is scary. You could get mugged.
When I retired Margaret and I decided that every Saturday where ever we lived, we would explore.As a Pastor I worked on Saturday which was the day Margaret was off so after I retired we used our Saturday to see and experience where we lived.We went all over the place on Long Island and New York City.We even made it to upstate New York and saw where they had Woodstock and to Hyde Park where FDR lived.We went to Connecticut and saw wher…

“People who enjoy life make life more enjoyable for others.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 168). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Have you found that so?That is if you hang out with someone who really enjoys life you find your spirits lifted and you enjoying life too.But if you are around that person who is always depressed and always rehearsing the negatives in their life then you see your spirit start going down and you discouragement going up.
I am reading Job right now and his time with those negative friends.Granted Job had it rough but those friends made it worse.
Let me ask you, what kind of friend are you?Do you help others enjoy their life or do you bring them down.Let me tell you, if you bring people down then you will probably be alone a lot.Life is tough but I don’t want to live in despair about it.I want to live in hope and joy.That is what happens when you have a deep strong relationship with Christ.Yes He had it rough but He also enjoyed the …

“We aren’t limited because we have limitations; we are limited because we haven’t embraced them.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 149). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
It is so easy at my stage of life to make the excuse of not doing something because of my limitation of being 66 going on 67.I have to fight that temptation over and over and that is why I find this thought so challenging.
The key is to embrace the limitation, to see the benefit of being 66 going on 67 as a great opportunity to continue to create who God wants me to be.He isn’t done and I shouldn’t be either.
As Erwin says, “Every creative endeavor becomes a realization of both how limited and how unlimited we are.”He continues, “What makes you a chef is what you do with those five flavors; what makes you a musician is what you do with those twelve notes; what makes you a painter is what you do with those three colors; what makes you an architect is what you do with those three shapes; what makes you an artist is what you do with…

“It is too easy to allow our dreams to become an escape from life rather than fuel for life.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book,The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art(p. 141). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
As you stop to think about it do you see where that is true in your life?I mean it is so much easier to just fantasize than it is to do something about your life.I mean to dream you have a perfect marriage especially with that other guy/gal than to set about to do what needs to be done in your marriage is so much easier.  To do something about your marriage can be hard work and who really wants to do that?  It is so much easier to dream but that doesn’t make anything better, does it?
Erwin says, “In our dreams there is no risk. This is where the creative act is vastly different from a dream. The creative act requires courage and demands action. The creative act moves us from ideation to implementation.”
What is your God-given dream?Is it something that you just dream about?It doesn’t have to be.That isn’t God’s plan.He created you…

“If God created us to be successful at something, then He has called us to work hard at it.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 130). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
It is so easy to leave the fulfillment of a God-given task to God to do through us.I mean if He wants it then He will do it.But the truth is He has given us the dream, the call, the potential and then expects us to ask for strength and courage and then to go do it. Erwin says, “It is not incidental that when David calls Solomon to build the temple, he says to his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.’” [1 Chronicles 28: 20 NIV)].
What potential, call, opportunity or dream is God waiting on you to set out to do? He believes in you and He knows how hard it will be for you to do.But He will give you strength and courage to do it if you ask and…

“…living our lives based on the opinions of others will only cause us to lose our souls and our way.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 115). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
I was walking back from one of my coffee shops to home listening to a podcast by Erwin and stopped listening and starting thinking.I started thinking about what really matters to me.Not what matters to others about me but what really matters to me.In other words I was thinking about what makes me unique.God created me to be me with a unique thought in His mind.
And He did the same thing with you.Who you are is not based on what other people’s opinions of you are but who you are.
I had a little song that I wrote when my son Brett was very little.The first part goes like this:Brett is so neat and he is so sweet and he is so “special” and before I would say the word “special” I would tickle him and eventually I would stop and hold my hand over him until he would say, “special” then I would tickle him and go one with the song.The wor…

“I became painfully aware that far too often good sense had replaced imagination in my own life.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 92). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
That is so true for me.I was telling a friend of mine this morning of something that I was dealing with.It was a dream that I had to live in a RV and travel when Margaret retires and I said but it doesn’t make sense because I will be in my seventies.That is what happens when you get old.Your imagination and your dreams give way to making sense.
Erwin continues, “You don’t have to be Einstein to know that imagination is more powerful than knowledge, yet practical, everyday life seems to press us into an imaginationless reality. The longer we live, the more we become practical and reasonable.”
I think the problem is I have come to the conclusion that I am old and therefore my potential to realize a dream is becoming more nonexistent.But that isn’t true.I like how Leonard Sweet in his book, The Well-Played Life puts it.“In the First…

“We are never fully free until we have fully forgiven.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 86). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Today, Good Friday is the day when we remember the greatest injustice that has even been done to an individual.And it is a day that we see how it is to be handled.
Jesus, the only perfect man who has ever walked this earth was crucified as a common criminal.No way was His death justified.But do you know how He handled it?Luke 23:34 (NLT), “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’”Jesus forgave them and asked God, His Father to forgive them.
Now of course we want justice for injustice.We want to throw the book at people.No way am I going to forgive them.They don’t deserve it” and that is true but we also don’t deserve to be forgiven either but we more times than not demand it.Listen it was our sins, not just the Jews and Pilot who killed Him. If justice were served we would be on that Cross but b…

“Our experiences are not nearly as powerful as our memories.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art(p. 85). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
I was thinking after reading this of a bad experience in my life that was a good memory.It happened different times in my life.
My father was a minister and for half of my home life he was an evangelist.In other words, we as a family traveled from church to church holding meetings.For a big part of the time we lived in a house trailer, that’s what they were called back then and we would leave one church on a Sunday night and travel to the next one and start services there on Wednesday.We would be there from Wednesday through two Sundays.
Sometimes it would take all of the money we were given at the last church to get to the next one and somewhere in that next week we would run out of food if the church we were holding meetings in didn’t give us a food allowance.Now that could have caused me to be angry at God and turn my back on th…

“People only become slaves when they have lost their dreams.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 54). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
What is your dream?What is it that keeps you going every day and that energizes you each week to deal with for some the monotony of life?Yes the monotony of life has within it the potential to enslave us.I‘ve got to get up and do it all again but if you are getting up to fulfill a dream then you are not enslaved but you are free.
I hurt so much for people who are enslaved by the worries, the cares, the aloneness and monotony of their lives. I understand that and I have to fight that every day that I get up.And I see even at 66 almost 67 the need for a dream.The battle happens when I tend to be malnourished emotionally and spiritually. If I haven’t spent enough alone time with God for Him to reinforce and rekindle the dream that He has for my life even at 66 going on 67 then I will start to focus on things that will bring me down …

“To find our own voice, we must first wrestle with the voices inside our brains.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book,  The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 43). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


There are so many voices in us clamoring for attention and control.
I have spent my morning at Starbucks reading two newspapers and spending time with my friends.I sat there in my spot with my Dodgers’ hat on reading about how they lost last night and then talking with my friends about what happened.That is a voice that is inside of me.It is a voice that has been a part of me since I was a child and it is a voice that at some points has to be controlled.I used to get so upset when they lost.It would affect my mood but hopefully I have matured.
Now after I left Starbucks I walked about a mile to Peet’s Coffee & Tea where I pulled out my Kindle and did some reading preparing for sharing some thought on this Blog today.I read and then pulled out my phone and ear phones and started my walk to home listening to Erwin McManus sh…

“All too often… the voices that speak early and deep into our souls are more destructive than constructive.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 42). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
That is so true for so many adults today.Erwin says, “I meet so many people who carry an internal narrative that they have no value and no worth, and are not worthy of love. Some forty-year-old men are still fighting off voices that spoke to them when they were four years old.”
What voices inside of you are you listening to?Maybe it is the voice of an unpleasable parent who listened to their unpleasable parent and lived with that voice inside them and carried it through to you.Maybe it was a teacher or a coach.Maybe it was someone who believed in you.That voice of mom or dad who did all they could to make you feel special resounds inside of you every time you face something new.What voice are you listening to?
Erwin continues, “What others think of us, what others have said about us matters, has power, only when it becomes what we…

“We will never create anything more powerful or significant than our lives.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art(p. 13). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
We were created by God to love Him and others.Now we were created in the image of God but because of the Fall that image has been marred. And the world constantly does what it can to continually destroy that image.Now God is creative and within us He has also made us creative.But society does what it can to make us believe that we are not creative.
Erwin says, “We don’t have to convince children that they are creative; all we have to do is let them do what comes naturally. We never have to give a four-year-old permission to color outside the lines or to not follow the rules or to simply draw on the page what they see in their imagination. Yet somewhere along the way, this gets restructured. We become convinced that only those who are drawing inside the lines are doing it right, that the rules are more important than anything else,…

“It takes courage to not only accept our limitations but embrace our potential.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2014-02-25) from his book, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art (p. 7). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
We think of having courage when we do something that we are afraid of doing and in that being honest about our self takes courage.
Accepting the fact that we may not have it all together takes courage.We are really afraid that people will see where we are limited so we strive to hide that fact even from ourselves.But we do honestly have limitations.But we are afraid that those who we work for and with will find out and maybe we will lose what we have worked so hard to have.But if we accept them then we don’t have to hide them and then can work on our potential.
But that also brings some fear.I mean if I know then I have to do something about it.And that is just too much pressure.I don’t want to have to work that hard but in reality embracing ones potential brings fulfillment and excitement.We are doing what we were created to do.It…