Grace and peace on this Wonderful Wednesday Dear Hearts ❤

Once, I heard it told about the time Robert Glover visited Rome.

Glover had the privilege of viewing some of the superb masterpieces of Michelangelo. A friend who was with him said that one day the great artist entered his studio to examine the work of his students. As he came to the painting of one of his favorite pupils, he stood for a long time reflecting upon it. Then, to the utter surprise of the class, he suddenly took a brush and wrote something across the canvas. What was he doing? Was he condemning what the student had done? Not at all! The one word he splashed on the picture was "Amplius," meaning larger. He was not rejecting the work, for it exhibited great skill and was good as far as it went. But the small size of the canvas had made its design appear cramped.

In all my good human efforts have I been cramping God out of the picture?

What I'm planning or creating, could be good, yet way too small in comparison to what the Lord may have in store for me -- and you.

All my efforts, painting; pastoring; doing this web site; should be motivated by two things: love and service. Art can be a very self serving. It can be an inward, subjective thing but it doesn't have to be so small.

Naturally, when I create I will be expressing myself. That's OK unless the focus of that expression is too much on me. If it is, I may have already received my reward. Mmm -- disappointing, no?
However, if the 'myself' I am expressing is coming forth from my love for God and my love for others and my desire to serve others via my art, well then, my work is enlarged, ennobled. Blessed. Ample.

The prophet Isaiah was once telling the people of God that they were thinking much too small in comparison to the plans he had for them. Their plans may have blessed them and God yet still fallen short of the fuller blessing God had for them if they would think fuller and think God's way.

One of the reasons I have started many things and finished only a few, really well, is this. Too often I begin by really seeing God's picture correctly but then in an effort to please him and to do the best, me and my own effort start taking too much precedence. That's when an amazing thing happens - the canvas beings to shrink! Before I know it I have no room left for the original idea and loosing heart I give up too soon. Strangely I am left feeling that once again I did not win.
It's time to complete the work, enlarge the house -- the canvas. Time to make room in my life for the big picture God has in store for me and for others via me.
Don't be a winner, be a finisher!
God bless you!
...may your art remain open.
Owen W. Swain

“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

_Philippians 1:3-6 The Message (MSG)

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