Ephesians 2: 10 (NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I opened this blog nine and a half short months ago and in this time I have been so incredibly blessed by the “good things” God is writing through the lives of others He has placed on my (blogging) path: challenging, inspiring, encouraging and uplifting books. Our God who created the heavens and the earth is still in the business of creating many “good things” through His beautiful masterpieces.
There’s Jennifer Moye, or my compassionate, praying friend Jen, whose heart was opened to discover the true joy of Christmas anew, as God led her to take her children through the story of Jesus in the days before Christmas. In her Spirit-led hands, Elf on the Shelf has now become a way for children around the world to learn all about the love, grace and ministry of Christ they are invited to receive and participate in. Jen, created anew as God’s beautiful masterpiece, is shining the bright colors of God into the lives of little children and their families through her book, A Gospel Christmas: Our Journey Connecting Santa and His Elf to the Story of Our Savior.
Then, there’s Joy Lenton, my kindred lover of words and God’s creative beauty, whose heart was moved by the Spirit to create a beautiful, encouraging and moving compilation of poetry. This book is filled to the brim with God’s love, faithfulness and goodness through the waves, both present and past, connecting with the deepest yearnings of our human hearts to be fully known. Joy, created anew as God’s masterpiece, is singing the Love of Christ into yearning and grieving hearts near and far, who are being soothingly assured that God will never ever leave their side through her book, Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life’s hard places.
There’s Jennifer Lane, my practical and prayerfully encouraging friend, whose heart was opened to step into fear and begin the most amazing of adventures in faith as she has heeded the call to serve both locally and abroad. Social anxiety and the tremors of life became an opportunity in the hands of the LORD to showcase the power of the Spirit to minister through our every weakness and struggle into the lives of many. Jennifer, created anew as God’s masterpiece is speaking God’s bold equipping truth and servant heart into the lives of men and women around the world through her book, Faith Adventures: Stories of learning with an unseen God.
Then, there’s Ifeoma Samuel, a kind and gently encouraging friend, who was led to discover the Power we carry as overcomers in Christ. Human wrestling with failure became the birthing ground of a Spirit-led boldness to stand in the strength and shielding presence of God. Ifeoma, created anew as God’s masterpiece is now pouring out Christ’s knowing Love, deep grace and equipping Truth into the experience of failure in the lives of Christians near and far in her devotional book, Overcome Failure: Get Back on Your Feet.
There’s Lauren Jacobs, a fellow Southern Hemisphere friend, a South African whose testimony touched me deeply, and whose heart has been ignited with the fighting Spirit of God for justice and mercy. Yet again God uses human weakness to create “good things”. Physical illness and anxiety rooted in past harm became the birthing ground for the story of Yehudit. Lauren, created anew as God’s masterpiece is speaking God’s bold courage and passionate love into the lives of not only South Africans, but many more cultures and peoples through the international release of her book, Yehudit: Chosen by God.
Then, last but not least, there’s Debbie Barrows Michael, my fellow thinker, giver friend, who was led to adopt a little boy from a far-away place and tell a story of God’s powerful leading to love like never before. A happy, contented mother is led by the Spirit of God to surrender to the hard and trying of His will, so that she might taste the power and loving grace of her gentle and compassionate God in a fresh way. Debbie, created anew as God’s masterpiece is challenging and encouraging Christians around the world to quiet to the Spirit’s leading and to submit in obedience to a much greater plan than we could ever envision with our human minds with her book, And the Greatest of These is Love.
Each one of these masterpieces has a very different story to tell. Each one of these masterpieces shines a unique piece of God’s heart into the world. Each one of these unique creations in Christ Jesus believes in the power of God’s Body coming together to bless, choosing to not only create “good things” in their own published books, but also to walk beside, encourage, pray and/or help launch the “good things” of others, who have heeded the Spirit’s calling to create. For ultimately we do not create just with our own two hands, but with Christ at our Head and supported by individual members of His Body, to whom we are being joined to and grown into to become a beautiful holy temple with Christ as our cornerstone.
Ephesians 2: 19 – 21 (ESV) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,[a] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.