Illustrated Faith: John 15:1-17

I’ve wanted to illustrate my Bible for years now and I finally started doing so in the last couple of weeks. It really helps me to meditate on what I’m reading and think about what God is trying to tell me in what I’m reading.

Most of what I’ve done so far has been pretty simple, just one item that resonates from the passage or some of the words that really stick out to me. I’d like to share what I’ve done, starting with my page from John 15:1-17.

It says:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the winegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

Now I know it’s very long but it is a really awesome passage to read! My favorite part is towards the end where Jesus talks about how he calls us friends because we know what he knows. He is willing to share with us the love of God and bring us to Him in order to save us and to allow us to grow and bear fruit. Like seriously, how cool is that? I just love reading about the work Jesus did, he had so many awesome stories to share and there’s so much to learn!

The picture I drew to go along with this is of course a vine that has bore fruit. I want more than anything to be that fruit bearing vine, to be pruned and shaped by the Lord and know God’s love. This passage is very special to me and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as well.

I’m planning on posting something similar to this every Sunday, so I hope you guys like it!

Have a great week everyone!

Sincerely,
Meagan

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God is Good

I’m currently reading a book called Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst and I’ve been learning A LOT. It’s all about “living loved when you feel less than, left out, and lonely.”

Recently I’ve been dealing with a lot of turmoil in my personal life and I picked up a lot of “self-help” books. While wandering the nonfiction section at Target, this book immediately caught my eyes and I felt in my heart that I had to read it.

This book is all about relying upon God and turning to Him rather than earthly goals or gratifications when things get rough. Over the past few days I have felt more renewed than I have in years. Though I am still struggling greatly, I feel secure knowing that God is looking out for me.

The last few mornings I have been waking up and making coffee and then spending time in the word. I’ve started to illustrate my Bible and I think it’s turning out beautifully. It really allows me to get creative in the way I worship and I really appreciate the time I get to spend in the word really deliberating it while I color or paint.

So in the book, Lysa highlights how good God is. How He is good to us and that He is good at being God. We need to learn how to trust in God and ignore the enemy that makes us feel rejected and low. The enemy steals our confidence and our happiness. When we put all of our confidence and hope into earthly relationships and items that’s when we begin to feel scared, left out, lonely, less than, hurt.

Our God is an awesome God and He will never abandon us, turn us aside, or leave us broken if we turn to him. That is what brings me so much joy and hope and I pray that you all find that yourselves. We are so loved and so blessed to have an amazing Father creating our life page by page. My heart feels so full.

When our foundation is broken, we feel broken, which is why we need to build our relationship with God before anything else. My brokenness cannot make me stable, but building a relationship with God and fixing myself from the inside out can make me stable. This is what will bring out the best in me and provide me with a life that I will love living.

Here’s a really great video on this topic by a sweet, sister in Christ, Emma Mae Jenkins:

The song that I’m including in this post, The Stand by Hillsong UNITED, started playing as I was writing this post and I felt I had to share it. How beautiful is our God that loves us so dearly.

I want to offer up a prayer of love and peace for those who might need it and a prayer of thanks for the God who gave it all so that I may live. And if you’d like to pray here’s a little something:

I am yours, God

I am faithfully yours

God, I am going to trust you because you are good, and you are going to be good to me

Amen.

I hope you all have a spectacular night and feel the heartwarming embrace of a God that truly loves you.

I’ll leave you with a quote that really stuck with me:

I don’t have to figure my present circumstances out. I don’t have to fill the silence left behind in another person’s absence. I don’t have to know all the whys and what-ifs. All I have to do is trust.” Lysa Terkeurt, Uninvited, Pg. 23.

And trust is what I shall do.

Sincerely,

Meagan

You Will Have Understood

I copied these words off the blackboard in my media literacy class the other day and then ended up spending over an hour thinking about them.

It’s a profound thought to have, sitting here and realizing that someday you will understand all of the crazy things that occur in your lifetime. I know I occasionally have these thoughts multiple times a day (but it’s a rarity). Usually I end up months, or even years down the road looking back on one event and realizing how it caused a chain reaction of other events to lead to where I am today.

1 Samuel 12:16 says:

Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.

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There are so many things that I now realize had to happen in order for me to get where I am today. And I know that the things that are happening to me right now will someday make sense to me. But I want to have some sense of why my life is the way it is and why I have to experience the things that I have to experience. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to me, my life.

I look back on my past and I feel like I have so many regrets, and I can never convince myself that I have so much life left to live. I spend all my time caught up in the past never fully embracing the moment.

I started this post last week and I wrote that Bible verse down and I wish I could say that I do that, that I stop and see what God has done and what he will do but all I do is regret and dream and get stuck in the infinite possibilities of what could have been. I have yet to feel truly satisfied with where I am at, there’s always something that holds me back.

It’s hard admitting this to the internet, because I don’t even like admitting it to myself. I want to believe that I believe that God has a plan for me, but I don’t know if I do. I keep wishing my life away, thinking things will be better someday. I continually see what my past has done to get me where I am today, but I never think towards my future. It’s just a giant blank. I have these infinite “what ifs” about my past, but my future is empty.

I just listened to this song today. This honestly epitomizes what is going on in my brain right now.

I don’t know if life will ever make sense to me. But I truly wish I could be happy with who I am right now.

So, happy Sunday y’all.

I’ll talk to you on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Meagan

Break of Day

Break of Day Picture

Romans 8:38-39 says:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ our Lord.

So last night I was on Twitter and saw a tweet from Tenth Avenue North announcing the release of their new song “Break of Day”. I immediately stopped everything I was doing and went onto iTunes to listen to it. I had another post all planned out for today but as soon as I heard that song I knew I needed to talk about it.

One of my favorite lines from the song is:

“That if the demons come at night, and I can’t feel you by my side, even if I fall a thousand times, I’ll keep calling your name, waiting for the break of day.”

I feel like it’s such a powerful thing what they chose to talk about. When you’re struggling with things, night is often the worst time for you. It’s so easy to let yourself fall back on all the progress you’ve made because you’re all alone with your thoughts. You let the demons take control and you let them hurt you because you convince yourself that you’re all alone. I know on many occasions I have dreaded night time because I feel like I’ve been completely deserted.

Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to reach out to someone, God included, because you feel like it’s too late and you’ll only be bothering them. So many nights I have let myself believe this and I’ve sat alone being consumed with negative thoughts until I feel like I would never feel happy again.

My message for you today is to not let yourself ever believe that you are alone in your walk. Nothing will ever separate you from God, and even if you think that he has deserted you in those late hours of the night, know that he hasn’t and that he loves you more than ever. Even if you are afraid to ask a friend for help, never be afraid to ask God for help. He will always be there for you, there’s no reason he would ever neglect you.

Remember, you are beloved children of God, and no matter what you are struggling with, there will always be someone there for you to call on.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Here’s the full version of the song: