July 15, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: DIFFERENT

Artistic people are often referred to as different, unusual, eccentric, or even odd.  Some embrace these labels. Some feel vilified by them.  The truth is...we are "different"...AND THAT'S OK!!  We think differently.  We communicate differently. We express ourselves differently. We see the world differently.  WE ARE DIFFERENT!  What some consider unusual or odd is the very thing that allows us to create, innovate, and express in ways that others have not considered or lack the skill set to bring to fruition. We are able to show others a new perspective that they may not have seen on their own. If we are honest, we are all different.  That is what makes the world so wonderful and challenging at the same time.  


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.  If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  TO him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.   
1 Peter 4:10-11

So often we walk into churches and find a group of people gathered together that seem very similar.  They can look the same, sound the same, act the same...and have a host of other similarities.  There is almost an unspoken "normal" for given collection of believers.  I know that many of you reading this will either understand my point or begin to form your defence of how your church is not like what I've just written.  I'm not judging...I'm just making an observation from my personal experiences.  I'm not sure I've ever walked into a church & felt like I was their kind of "normal".  I'm ok with that! ha ha  I believe that when we embrace who God has made us to be...we will no longer feel a need to fit in with everyone else.  We can be anywhere and be at peace with who we are & who we were made to be.   This will allow us to take what makes us different, unique, or even a little odd....and use it for the glory of God!  It will also allow us to celebrate what makes others different & be able to encourage the ministries God has equipped them to accomplish.   He has designed us to be different.  My gift is not the same as the person behind me.  I don't have the same calling/gifting/skill set as the pastor.  The couple in my Sunday school class serves in a completely different capacity than I do.   God has called us to be who HE has called us to be.  We were designed to be different to glorify God & to make Him known. At the same time...we are called to be a family.  You know that every family is made up of some "different" type of people that may have varying interests, points of view, approaches to life, and ways of doing things......but you love them no matter!  We don't all have to be the same to walk along one another in this life!  

July 14, 2018

TAEA AT TAA




So today I was working at the TAEA(TN) membership table at The Tennessee Arts Academy...I always make some wacky thing to wear to get people's attention. 
Thought I'd play off of the recent flood of posts about Target stuff!! Ha ha 😜😂

July 08, 2018

Mod Podge

I have gained a greater appreciation for Mod Podge. I've always known it to be a quality product, but I do believe they have one for just about every situation. Severed your arm in a paper cutter accident....there's a Mod Podge for that! (Just kidding....I think!)  One of the bottles below says it is DISHWATER SAFE.  Who knew!?!? 

Sunday Morning Devotional With Mr.E: SUPPORT

In the summer of 1997, I was one of 80 art teachers hired when Nashville made it mandatory to have an art teacher in every elementary school in the city.  A majority of the teachers were not from the area, and left friends & family in order to begin their career.  There were many of those hired that were not certified.  They were artists teaching on a temporary license (with the intention of obtaining their certification).  Most found themselves the only art teachers at their schools.  Feelings of isolation, loneliness, and being unsupported led many to leave their positions at the end of the first & second year (30 yr 1 & 20 yr 2).  It wasn't until teachers began feeling connected/supported that the retention rate stabilized. Education is best in community.  We were never meant to go it alone.  Art educators often work in isolation in their individual schools.  That need to develop a support system around you is incredibly important for the success, longevity, and enjoyment of one's career.  Support is more than just cheering each other on.......it is about encouraging one another to grow, calling out things that are questionable, and sharing our strengths(to meet the weaknesses we all possess). 


For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10

The Christian life can not be lived in isolation.  We were never designed to go it alone.  Too often we feel that fellowship, accountability, and support are not necessary.  I've heard many make the statement, "I don't have to go to church to believe in God!"  While this is technically true, it misses the heart of God's message to us.  The Bible is about relationships.  God's relationship to us, our relationship to God, our relationship to each other, our relationship to the world around us.........does this sound like we can do it all by ourselves?  We see in Paul's letter to the Colossians that he desired to pray for them as soon as he heard about them.  He wanted for them a life that honored God.  He desired that their life was fruitful.  He wanted them to continue to grow in their knowledge of God.  Paul did not say..."Well now you know God...keep that to yourself and don't talk to anybody about it." , yet many people treat faith in this way.  They isolate their relationship with God from the family of God.  We may be dysfunctional at best, but God gave us this family of believers to encourage, challenge, and support one another as we grow in faith.  

July 05, 2018

Shrink Film Fun

Do you use Shrink Film in your classroom?  I'm going to do a project this coming year, and was testing out time/challenges with my daughter. I'm concerned about it going too dark if everything was done in Sharpie....so we outlined with Sharpie & colored it in with colored pencils.  This seemed to work out great.  I did not rough up the surface first because it had a mat finish already.  I know some products it is best to go over it a little with a fine grit sandpaper so the color stays put!  


My video ended sooner than expected because storage was full! 
 (I really need to delete some of my 2000+ photos!)


I cut a sheet into quarters to start.  After the images were drawn I cut around each....leaving enough space at the top to hole punch so we could make them into necklaces.  You may need to make the hole larger than a standard hole punch will create depending on what you are using to string the necklace with.  You may need to do some experimenting to get it just right! 


If your oven is hot...it should take around 2 minutes to shrink & flatten back out.  If it doesn't flatten completely in the oven....as you pull it out push down the edges(that should do it!).  I only place two to four on the tagboard(it is a thick non-corrugated cardboard kind of material).  That way they won't touch and possibly stick together(it has happened before...but not often).  My toaster oven has to racks...so I can do 8 at a time(if you are thinking about how long it will take you to complete a class).  


We used SPARKLE MOD PODGE to coat it with once it could down.  Don't rub too hard when you brush on the clear coat of your choosing...it might cause the color to smear.  


(I used waxed string to make my daughter's necklace...I really like it!!  Easy to use..slides through the holes...easy to tie....affordable.) 

July 04, 2018

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July Everyone!
 I have much to blog about...but haven't had the time to do it yet!
 I'll get there friends...stick with me!

July 01, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: IF

When I was obtaining my undergraduate degree in Art Education, I was required to take Statistics.  It was like a foreign language to me...LITERALLY!  The professor would often slip back into his first language throughout the class time.  I would not answer questions, I would not ask questions, and I would not participate in any way during the class time.  I felt lost. My confidence was shook.  This was not my norm.  In my art & educations classes, I was the text book nerd with my hand constantly up to answer & ask questions.  I loved participating, because I actually knew what I was talking about.  I loved being a part of those classes because I felt like they were truly an extension of me.  If I had felt the same about Statistics, maybe it would have been a different experience. 


Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11 NASB

Reading this scripture in the NASB really struck me..."if God so loved us"  IF?  Why would the author write if?  The question of "if" is a call to action.  It makes us evaluate what we believe, what we know, what we understand, and how that belief/knowledge/understanding impacts our life.  If we are unsure of something, we do not act upon it as we would with something we are assured. So if we find ourselves not able to love one another.....maybe the struggle is not "them"......but "us"!  Maybe we have not truly embraced the truth of God's love for us.  Maybe we struggle with feeling lovable.  Maybe we struggle with feeling worthy.  Maybe we believe we have to earn it, and we're not sure we've done enough.  This is all wrong thinking.  The author is not calling into question IF God loved us, but because He loves us...we need to be acting differently.  We need to be thinking differently.  We need to be loving differently.  We are called to love with the love of the Lord.  That love is radical.  That love requires us to love because it is an extension of who we are....and we can not help but love like God loves us.  IF GOD SO LOVED US....WE ALSO OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER! 

June 24, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Strength

Artists will normally work in an area of strength. It is only natural.  If someone wanted to commission me to create a painting of their classic car...I'd probably have to turn them down.  That is not an area of strength for me.  Could I do it?  Yes.  Would it be an amazing work of art?  Probably not.  Could I improve?  Sure, I believe you can grow in most areas with practice.  However, if someone was commissioning me to do the work....they probably expect something amazing.  If I was asked to create a work for an upcoming show, I probably would not try something I'd never done before....UNLESS....I had the time to practice, fail, practice some more, fail some more...so on & so forth.  With the added pressure of being in upcoming show, an artist would most likely create from their strength so they are producing their best work.  I feel most artists are excited to try new things & aren't afraid to fail if they are given an opportunity to grow.  Growth takes time though. Developing a strength as an artist is a process.


Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.  1 Corinthians 1: 26-29

There is an almost cliche phrase in Christian circles..."God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called."  Things don't usually hit  "cliche" status without having some truth to them.  So often we think about all that we can do for God.  We look at our gifts & talents and believe we have something special He needs.  The truth is God wants our hearts.  We can have the most extensive training, talents beyond compare, and experiences that provide us with unprecedented skill sets, but it is a heart yielded to Him that will make the greatest difference in our world.  I'm not saying God won't use what you see as your strength, but we must humbly go to Him and seek His will/plan for our life.  Once upon a time, I was a shy & extremely insecure person.  I felt I could best serve God behind the scenes. Notice I said "I felt".  That was not God's plan for me.  He desired for me to be upfront. He wanted me to be an initiator of conversations & relationships.  He wanted me to place myself in situations where I could not hide or be comfortable.  Why?  Because He knew that is where I'd stop trusting in myself...and start trusting in Him.  Was/Am I great at it...no!  There are times I'd rather be comfortable.  There are times I'd rather do what is easiest for me.   Growth takes time.  Strength is a process. God gives us grace to grow.  God gives us grace to develop strength to fulfill what He has called us to do. We don't have to be perfect at it.  We don't have to be gallery ready.  We just have to be available & willing.

June 16, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Frazzled

Quality paint brushes are a must for any painter.  Brush care is also of the utmost importance.  There is just no way you can create high quality works of art when hairs are frazzled, frayed, and falling out.  You will find yourself creating more of a mess trying to compensate for these issues.  It robs you of your joy of painting in the moment because you are too busy looking for lost hairs or checking to see if the frazzled hairs have placed paint where you do not wish.  You find yourself distracted and unable to focus on what is truly important. All of which can be avoided if you just make the right choices! 


As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, "Lord don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!"   "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."    Luke 10:38-42

Oh Martha, how I connect with you and your ways! I wish I was a Mary, but I am not.  I find myself running around in a tizzy...frazzled and frayed by all that life has placed on my plate(or that I have placed on my own plate!).  I can be so busy with "life" that I miss opportunities for what God REALLY wants for me. I'm too distracted to see moments to sit at the feet of my Lord.  I'm too worried about things that don't really matter, and miss God given opportunities to speak truth, peace, love...JESUS...into othes' lives.  I'm too consumed with trying to make things perfect that I miss the beauty in the imperfections.  Lord, help me not to be a Martha(at least not all the time)...and let me be more like Mary & make the better choice. 

June 10, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Seeing Beyond

Art has the amazing ability to transport the viewer.  For some, they find themselves transported to the depicted image.  They are very literal (not going to knock anyone who wants to spend time looking at art...good on 'em!).   Others will find themselves making personal connections to a time and place they've experienced.  They feel the moment like a memory.  Others may experience something more metaphysical.  The work will take them to a place that goes beyond what is visible and beyond a memory experience.  It's as if the work is imbued with hope, inspiration, despair, desperation, or other secrets waiting to be unlocked by the onlooker.  There is a painting at a local art gallery that takes me to a place far beyond the beauty the artist masterfully created.  Though there are connections I could make with the work and past experiences....it is more than that.  I see the glow of the sun illuminating the landscape, and my mind & heart are transported to a place of hope.  No matter what is going on in my life....when I see this painting my heart is warmed, my spirit is refreshed, and my mind is reset.  Others may walk past it, but I know the power it holds.


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

This scripture gets used a lot!   There is a reason for that...it is a truth we all desperately need to hear, know(heart & head), and apply.   Fear, worry, pain, tragedy, and struggles can keep us from seeing beyond where we are....leaving us helpless...hopeless....stuck. However, this truth transports us.  This truth allows us to see beyond our circumstance. This truth allows us to move forward knowing that He is with us & that He loves us no matter what we are going through.  Is there something you are going through/experiencing that has left you feeling stuck?  Are you unable to get past the past?  Is the pain of today too much for you to bear?  Ask the Lord to allow you to see beyond your present situation.  Ask the Lord to allow you to see clearly the truth of His transforming love & grace.  He is with you always. 

June 03, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Hear Me

There are many people that picture artists as angsty, brooding, anti-establishment type personalities. There are some who fit this stereo-type.  However, as with all stereo-types it does not provide the whole picture.  For every angsty, brooding, anti-establishment artist that is out there.....just as many are producing positive, encouraging, and enlightening works of art.   So what is the commonality within the artistic community?  Artists have a deep desire to be heard through their creative endeavors.  The art gives an external voice to the internal dialog that the artist possesses.  It can be positive, negative, neutral, or all of them combined.

LOOK WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD. 
LOOK WHAT'S BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD
LOOK WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED
LOOK WHAT'S RIGHT & GOOD
LOOK AT THE GOOD & BAD
LOOK AT THIS SPOON

No matter what it is they are creating....
they want their work to be seen & their voice to be heard.


I call on you, my God, for you will answer me' turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.  Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.  Psalm 17:6-7

In a world with so much noise, sometimes we feel like our voice can't be heard.  What a lonely place to find ourselves.  Speaking, but with no one listening. Shouting, but with no one caring.  Sharing, but with no response.

THERE IS SOMEONE LISTENING!
THERE IS SOMEONE CARING!
 THERE IS SOMEONE LOVING!

God desires to hear from us.  He wants us to bring our praise, joy, pain, requests, questions, concerns, and our everything to him.  He hears us!  We have an audience with our Lord.  No matter where you are in your walk with God....know that he hears you.  Even if you don't feel like he hears you....HE HEARS YOU!  In your doubt...call out.  In your joy...shout.  He just wants to hear from you.

And when you are done.....listen.
 He also wants to speak to you!

May 31, 2018

MTAEA SUMMER WORKSHOP

My wonderful in-laws gave me money for my birthday this spring and told me...."DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF!!"  I knew that I wanted to use the money to go to our Middle Tennessee Summer Workshop, and I'm so glad I did!  It was such a wonderful time of connecting with art educators I have known for some time....and meeting some new peers!  The workshop itself was also wonderful.  I took 5 semesters of watercolor/watercolor mixed media...and never had a formal class in any other form of painting.  So the class I attended was painting texture & realism.  It was a no fear super encouraging time to try something new!  Here are some of the pictures from the day.  
SO EXCITED TO BE AT THE AMAZING FRIST ART MUSEUM 

Kicking off the workshop...our amazing 
Middle TN Chair on the TAEA Board

Melody (TAEA President Elect) gave an inspiring keynote!

There were three classes going on that were a "refresher" on painting.  They were abstraction, watercolor, and acrylic.  I took the acrylic class that focused on realism & texture.

Some people get too into their work! ha ha

This one AMAZED me!  
So many talented artists at this workshop.


Isn't it wonderful how different these are...though the same subject matter!

You know it was a great day when their is paint on your hands!!!

BONUS PICTURES
Nick Cave's show is presently at The Frist Art Museum...
AND IT IS AMAZING! It is pure eye candy.  I could have spent hours looking at the work on display. 
















May 27, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: The End

Endings can be tough!  Sometimes we get so involved in creating a work or series of works that it is hard see it come to an end. We've spent so much time developing concepts, sketched out ideas, experimented with materials, and bringing our ideas to fruition.  The work is not just a product of our training, but a part of ourselves. It is no wonder so many of us struggle to call a work truly finished. This can be exasperated if there is not a clear direction of where we're going next. The end of many things can bring fear & uncertainty.  However, the end of a work of art can also bring freedom to begin anew.   It is truly in our perspective.  Endings are just beginnings on the other side of a problem.


For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.  Yet what shall I choose?  I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.  Philippians 1:21-25

Paul knew that he had an eternity with Christ.  He knew that this was much better than the things the world had to offer.  However, he did not fixate on this to the point of losing perspective.  He knew that his life (by the grace of God) had impact.  He knew that his life made a difference.  Have you ever met those people who were "so heavenly minded that they were no earthly good"?  They are so focused on the reward of salvation that they forget the world around them.  There are also those who come to Christ, but struggle to give up the things they want to do.  They always had done XYZ in the past...and they don't want to give that up.  Salvation is not about self.  It is actually the end of self.  We must be able to "die to self".  The end of our own wants & desires...and considering what Christ has called us to do.  Sometimes we're afraid that we'll lose who we are if we go "all in" for the Lord.  The end of our old self is the beginning of a new adventure.  We will find out more of who we truly are than we ever imagined.  The end is the beginning of something new and wonderful.  We can only get there if we say we are finished with the old self.

May 23, 2018

RANDOM INFORMATION

Did you know the artist Robert Indiana died May 19, 2018(Saturday)?  I totally missed this until yesterday.  He was a very interesting individual, and if you don't know much about his life & art career....you need to look him up.  All I use to know about him was a few of the "major" works he was known for creating.  


Today is WORLD TURTLE DAY!!!!!!
  I love turtles & wanted you all to know it was their day!! 
CELEBRATE!

May 20, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: It Takes Time

Clay is all about the process.  It is not an art of immediacy.  You create & wait days for it to dry.  You place it in the kiln to fire & wait (usually close to 8 hrs plus time to cool down before opening the kiln).  You glaze the work, place it back into the kiln, fire it, & wait (another 8 hrs plus time to cool down before opening the kiln).  If you are all about instant gratification, clay is probably not for you.  If you try to fire the clay too soon it might explode.  If you open the kiln too quickly after firing the clay could crack from rapid cooling.  If you don't place enough coats of glaze on the clay before firing it again, the color could be less vibrant or the glaze will not fire to a beautiful glassy finish.  There are many things that could go wrong if you rush the process.  It takes time....and that's ok!


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

Our journey as believers is just that....a journey.  It is not something to be rushed.  You are where you are....and that's ok.  I've seen many become frustrated when they feel they should be "further" in their walk with God.  When they struggle with doubt, temptation, lack of knowledge, lack of experience....they beat themselves up over it. The fact that one is aware of these things shows that the Holy Spirit is at work.  The process we go through as we mature in our faith is one that takes time.  We cannot fall into the "microwave" mentality of our society.  Talk with those you see who are mature in their faith.  Allow them to share their experiences with you.  Most will tell you they are still on that journey.  It takes time...and that's ok!  Embrace the journey God has given you.  It is uniquely yours.  Know Him & Make Him Known!  

May 16, 2018

1st Grade Self Portraits

I love going through my students' work for the nine weeks...and thinking about how much they've grown!  The first graders have done such a great job on their self portraits(using mirrors).  To think where they were at first of the year...mind blowing!  This is why I love elementary so much......you see jumps in skill that are simply awe inspiring!  







May 14, 2018

ENCOURAGED!!!

Do you have a student(s) that encourages your heart on pretty much every project they attempt!  I have a 2nd grader that puts 100% in each & every project.  She works hard, takes risks, and always seeks ways to better herself!! I'm so impressed with this young lady.....she's awesome!!  

On this project we did a close up landscape that could have a fairy/gnome theme if they wanted(or it could just be a nature picture).  The narrative she created within this work is just stunning!  I hope she sticks with me through 4th grade...because I really want to watch her artwork continue to grow!!!


May 13, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Getting Perspective

I truly enjoy teaching one point perspective to my students. Making sure that EVERYTHING is lined up with that point can be challenging.  Even one line that does not line up with the point can visually throw the whole thing off.  However, once they get that "THE POINT OF THE POINT IS TO GO TO THE POINT" they are able to draw with great success. They gain a new perspective in learning perspective as well.  They begin to push their other drawings further.  They want to show depth & 3-D "ness" in all their work.  I believe one point perspective is a turning point artistically for many students.


As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.   Ephesians 4: 1-6


Our lives are very much like one point perspective.  We must line EVERYTHING up with the Lord.  Anything not in alignment with the Lord & His Word will throw things off. We allow selfishness, anger, greed, apathy...or a host of other things to take our focus off of God, and our lives will not look as they should.  Ephesians 4:1-6 feels like perspective to me.  We are reminded of our calling, to be humble, loving, and united in Him. If we have those things in perspective, then our lives will operate as God intended.  For those of us who know the Lord, we should pray that God will make us aware when our lives begin losing focus on Him.  We should also strive to have brothers & sisters in the Lord that will hold us accountable that know us well enough to call us out when they see our perspective is off.   

The Point of the Point is to Go to the Point!  
In this crazy world where distractions are 
EVERYWHERE....KEEP THE POINT THE POINT! 

May 10, 2018

END OF THE YEAR STRESS!!

 It is coming up on the end of the year for those of us in Nashville, TN & surrounding areas.  I know that most of the country may have a few more weeks left.


HOW ARE YOU DOING?

The end of the school year can bring a lot of stress. I have to admit...I'm feeling it!  Part of it is of my own making.  I'm on a lot of "teams" for the district, and we are trying to get a ton done in a short period of time.  That is in addition to the regular end of the year craziness.  

So how do you avoid/reduce this issue?!
I wish I could tell you I had it all figured out. I'm the king of over-committing. I love to be on the teams that are having impact in our district on art education. I want my say/place in the decisions being made. I also tend to procrastinate more than I should.  In addition....I've got horrible sleeping habits!  So I'm not one to see advice from on this topic!!! ha ha  I can tell you what not to do!

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
How do you manage the stress?  Is it working?
Share in the comments!  

May 06, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E : ALIKE

I love the look that can be achieved with oil & chalk pastels.  Part of their appeal is that they are incredibly soft and easily manipulated. The very thing that makes them so appealing can also be considered their "issue".  No matter the brand or price point.....they are challenging to keep clean.  They easily pick up color from the other pastels around them.  Many times I've opened brand new boxes of pastels only to find they are far from pristine.  I teach my students to clean their pastels before using them to avoid contaminating their colors with something they may not want.  However, they will enevidably smear an unwanted color into their work from an unseen crumb or spot of color.  It doesn't matter if I store them in their original packaging with trays or if they are placed in a box together.  It doesn't matter if they are the most expensive or least expensive.  The issues are the same. They are alike. 
                                                                         

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.  
Isaiah 64:6

It is amazing the finger pointing, gossiping, and head shaking that goes on in the church.  We see the "BIG SIN" in others' lives, and somehow feel we're better than them because their struggles are not our struggles.  Their "BIG SIN" is not like our "little sin".  We justify our own inadequacies by categorizing sin into least acceptable to most acceptable (our sin clearly falling in the "most acceptable" category).  The truth is sin is sin.  There is no BIG SIN or little sin.  The word "sin" comes from an archers term meaning "TO MISS THE MARK".  We have all missed the mark.  We are more alike than we want to admit.  Our issues impact the things we do.  Like the unwanted crumb of oil pastel color that smears into your work....our sin impacts every area of our life.  We need to go before the Lord & deal with our issues.  We need to be real, humble, and honest with ourselves & others.  This is what the world is looking for.....loving, authentic(non-hypocritical), and non-judgemental people that claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.