Turning the darkness into Light.

Hey everyone,

Here is my latest vlog for notes from the vicarage. If you are an artist and you are looking for an encouraging, creative community I invite you to find The Bridge Artistic Network FaceBook Group…we are a bunch of loving creative and really cool people.

Matthew 5:15-20 says:

15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Emphasis mine)

and here is the Mandy Patinkin clip:

Friday LIVE from The Bridge!

Hello everyone,

125 artists are now a part of the Bridge Artistic Network!!! I am super excited to see how this continues to grow and become!!!

One thing I know is that Artists/Creatives never stop creating….pandemic or no…the art inside of us refuses to be hindered!

Meme storm

Let this time clear the path so that you can engage all those creative spaces and places that lay deeply planted inside of you.  Keep going. Keep creating. Keep becoming more YOU!

SHINE THAT LIGHT!!! Go forth and create!

 

Peace,

Brenda J.

 

LAUNCHING IN 5,4,3,2….

The Bridge Artistic Network has just officially been LAUNCHED as a FACEBOOK Group! It is for artist of every ilk and all ages. We all remember what it felt like starting out…and we know what it feels like being where we are…COME JOIN THE COMMUNITY AND ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION…And Help each other to GROW AND THRIVE!

If you know me, you know I have a heart filled up with love for artists.  I want them to know they are cherished, that their work, their gifts, their talents and abilities have great purpose and value!

I mean can you imagine trying to weather the storm of COVID19 with out the arts and entertainment?  What about falling in love or going through a break up with out music, or even just a long drive by yourself?  What would life be like without theater, dance movies, television?  What about painting, drawing, poetry, writing…Sculpting, Sewing, quilting, costuming, cooking…THE LIST OF STYLES AND KINDS IS ALMOST ENDLESS!

While COVID 19 says we must practice social distancing (Because we love each other enough to stay away!), we need not feel alone or useless.  SO LET YOUR CREATIVE FLAGS FLY FREE AND JOIN US ON FACEBOOK at

The Bridge Artsitic Network and become a vital part of the conversation!

#whywaittocreate

Can’t wait to see what is about to happen!!!

See you at the Bridge!

Brenda J.

The Trouble With New

Guimaras Sunset

We read “His mercies are NEW every morning.”

We hear “You learn something NEW every day.”

We know He is doing a NEW thing and right now it is springing forth!

NEW. Everything is made NEW!

Today is a NEW day!

We want NEW clothes, a NEW car, a NEW house, a NEW job!

We say we want to go in a NEW direction.

~

It’s not a lie, we do desire the NEW.  We long to step out of our ordinary into the EXTRAORDINARY.

The trouble with NEW is that in order to reach out for the NEW thing, we need to let go of the OLD.  That old comfortable pair of shoes that has taken us this far down the pilgrm road, needs to be tossed into the bin.  We need to cast off the OLD to embrace the NEW.

The trouble with NEW is that it’s uncomfortable.  And for those comfort-seekers among us, NEW doesn’t feel right, even when we know it is.

The trouble with NEW is that it requires great FAITH to begin the journey.

It requires a HOPE to believe the impossible is possible.

It requires a JOY that makes our strength unstoppable.

It requires a LOVE for others, that is greater than our own desires for safety and comfort.

~

The trouble with NEW is that, to get from the ordinary to the EXTRAORDINARY, you have to do something EXTRA.  You must study EXTRA  hard, delve EXTRA deep, go the EXTRA mile.

So-  Are you ready for the journey of a lifetime? To go from the ordinary to the EXTRAORDINARY?  Because the trouble with NEW is that it requires your LIFE -AS A LIVING SACRIFICE.

 

The Storm By Brenda J. Lillie

Higher and higher the water rises.  I watch from the seeming safety of the shore, as wave upon wave rushes in to meet me.

Busyness, Hurry, and Frustration lap at my feet. Pulling the sand beneath me out to sea with its power.

I feel drawn to follow, but my heart keeps me here.”Dig your feet in deeper child. Hold fast to your foundation. Do not be moved or swayed.”

Fear, Pain and Anger crash at my feet. Their violent splash washing away every worldly comfort.

My heart longs to dive into after them. Seeking to restore all that’s been lost. “NO!” Whispers the Spirit.

“Dig your feet in deeper still.  The Well Spring of hope lies under your feet.  This vast ocean of -WHAT WAS- must be washed away.”

Still trying to hold on to the known, my toes grasp for each grain of sand, to no avail. I watch as the dreams of normal, the wishes for comfort, are all washed out to sea.

The wind whips up into a frenzied dance. Sand stinging my face. I look out upon the vast ocean.  My feet now safely dug down deep, resting on the Hope that lies beneath.

A glint of light glancing off the waves makes my eyes water. Tears wash down my ravaged cheeks.  Looking up, I hear…

“My Child, I am all around you.  Fear not, your feet are planted on the solid rock of My love.  My hope has been rooted down deep in your heart.  And though the wind may whip, and the seas rage into a maelstrom,  I AM WITH YOU.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

A season for every activity under heaven!

Well hello there!

I have heard people say “fear not”.   I began to think…how?  How do we walk through moments like this and not give into the spirit of fear knocking on our door?  The answer is simple, and hard…we are so used to getting things done under our own strength but this…we cannot do this in our own strength.  We must admit our need for HIM (That’s the hard part.  Putting our pride and need to be in control down)! We must turn our eyes to the Lord.    We need to dive into His word.  We need to spend time talking to our good good Father in heaven.

His word tells us there is a time for everything.  EVERYTHING. And a SEASON for EVERY ACTIVITY!

Ecclesiastes 3 New International Version 

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

This means…

THIS IS JUST ANOTHER SEASON.  Yes, it is not a season we have seen for a long long time. It is disrupting our normal. This is what scares us.  But His word tells us  this is NORMAL! It is just a NEW SEASON! One that is uprooting what HAS BEEN to plant seeds for NEW THINGS.  New ideas, new dreams, new goals will be discovered during this season!  That is exciting!!! It is a season where so much looks as if it is being torn down.  While this is an end of how things have been…it creates the space and place for the NEW THINGS WE ARE ABOUT TO BUILD! 

 

We will mourn those things we lose, those things we are letting go of.  We must be careful not to skip this step of letting go, of mourning the loss of what was.  Or we will be tempted to go back to business as usual when this season changes.  AND IT WILL CHANGE.  Right now so many people are having to think out of the box to keep things going.  It is scary, we had gotten so comfortable with what was.  We even thought, “This is how God wants it.”  And now suddenly EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.  It doesn’t mean God was not in what was. He was in that season, but it also means, He is in WHAT IS. He is in THIS SEASON TOO! Embrace what God is moving you to and through.  Understand what God is asking you to let go of.  AND DESIRE NEVER TO GO BACK.  Don’t go back to comfortable.  Stay out of the box, hand in hand with Jesus- be bold, be courageous, do not shrink back!  Dance for joy, for all that God is doing in and through and for us in this season!

It is a time we must refrain from an actual physical embrace!  Yes social distancing is a thing. Business and churches are shut down.  Some are fighting against this out of fear.  Suggesting we get back to work now, sacrificing a few for the good of all. It might even sound noble.  But my bible tells me the “love of money is the root of all evil.”  We can and will make more money.  But we can not replace a human being. To say a human being is less important than money…IS EVIL…we must call it out.

We are in the season where we must ride out this storm til its end.   The old way of life is passing away, and something new will be birthed in its place. We can not just go back to business as usual, any more than we can say to FALL “Stop right now…don’t move one day more!” All because we don’t want to see Winter come.

Seasons come and seasons go. This season will pass.  Let us learn the lessons that are here for us in the midst of it. Let us embrace the blessings that it offers to us.  Let us make the changes we need to make, plant the seeds for new things so that when their time comes we can reap the harvest!  Let us throw away the old and pick up the new.

FAITH REQUIRES YOU TO STEP OUT OF THE BOAT….WHO’S WITH ME?!  HERE COMES FREEDOM ~ HE IS MAKING ALL THINGS NEW!!!!

 

 

BE UNSTOPPABLE!

“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.” Josh. 1:9

I have wrestled throughout the day whether to post or not post.  To be honest I wasn’t “Feeling it”.  I wanted to lay in bed today and let the world slip.  But a small voice kept whispering into my despair,  “Get up. Get moving. You are going to be OK.  I have you.”

The roller coaster of human emotion that is the Pandemic COVID19, has made me a bit unsettled today. So, I took my own advice this after noon, and stopped listening to the voice of fear and panic and I breathed in Jesus and breathed out His peace.

These are unsettling times.  The prevailing winds are panic and fear.  But Ladies and gentlemen, we have the power to CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE WIND!  Our strength does not come from how much toilet paper we have, or how many pounds of meat we hoarded.  OUR STRENGTH COMES FROM THE LORD…HIS JOY dismatles fear  in a second!  HIS LIGHT bursts forth and decimates panic.

It is not time to shrink back in fear and woe.  It is time to be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS.  When everything in us screams, “You can’t handle this storm.” Breathe in Jesus and Breathe out, “I AM THE STORM!!!” Let’s change the very nature of the prevailing winds from fear and panic, lack and greed; to that of LOVE and JOY , COMMUNITY and UNITY!

Stop looking at the grocery store as if it will save you.  Take a breath and recognize where your help comes from!

Psalm 121 1

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

The Lord is not shocked over what is happening.  He is standing in the midst of this with us.  Together (with the Lord) we are UNSTOPPABLE!