July 31, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Trust

We come to trust our training & experience.  We come to trust our favorite supplies & materials.  We even come to trust a select few to speak truth about our work.  However, that trust does not always easily occur.  I think we naturally question things.  It is hard to "just trust".  When it comes to our art....it is more than "just art".  It is a part of us, our experiences, our emotions, our thoughts, and our view of the world.  It is hard to trust others when we are sharing something we love & care about...and honestly feel is a part of us.  However, if we do not extend ourselves & have faith...we will never see the rewards of our efforts. 

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.  It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  "Take away the stone," he said.  "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."  Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"
John 11:38-40

I've said it before..I have a great deal in common with Martha.  When Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening, learning, and adoring....Martha was too busy making sure everything was perfect that she missed out on what was best.  Now we see her once again missing out on what Jesus is doing.  She over thinks everything (totally me), and forgets the importance of trusting.  I understand her struggle.  She is focused on her loss.  She is grieving her brother's death.  This thing that Jesus is about to do doesn't make sense.   He reminds her though of what he has told her before..."Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?".  Trust sometimes takes reassurance.  If you struggle in trusting God with things in your life.....THAT IS OK!!!  He knows your struggle.  He knows your heart.  Be honest with where you are & share that with Him.  You can see example after example in the Bible of people wrestling with trusting God (Moses, Noah...etc).  You are not alone.  Just remember...if you believe...you will see the glory of God!


Dear Lord...help me to trust in you.
Help me to bring my disbelief to you.
Allow me to see you at work, and when I don't see you at work...may I still trust you to be God in all situations.  
In Christ's Name, Amen  

July 24, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Leave An Impression

Watercolor is my favorite medium.  My favorite thing to do in watercolor is create texture.  There are many traditional painterly ways to create texture, but I enjoy trying more unorthodox methods.  Tissue paper, plastic wrap, wax paper, bubble wrap, salt, rice, lace, and a host of other materials can be applied to a painted surface to create visual texture.  If you apply them too late...the paint has already absorbed into the surface of the paper and any materials applied on top of the paint will have little impact.  If you place them on while it is still wet, but remove them too quickly...the texture will not have "set" on the surface.  However, if you place the materials on while the surface is wet, and allow them to remain until the paint is almost completely dry...you will have a greater/stronger visual texture created.  It is amazing what can happen when the proper amount of contact is allowed to take place.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.  
Proverbs 13:20

As believers, we need to surround ourselves with like minded individuals that will encourage, challenge, speak truth, and model Christ like behavior.  We also need to make sure that we are spending time in prayer, reading our Bible, and connected to fellowship.  If we do, we will be like the texturizing material applied and allowed to remain...so that when we are not around other believers or engaged in Christian activities...it is still obvious that we are different.  So often people think they can live the Christian life with little to no contact with other believers.  I also see so many people trying to "get by" without spending time in God's Word or spending time praying.  If this is how we live, we will be like the watercolor that had the materials removed too quickly or applied too late.  There is little to no difference that can be seen between it and the watercolor that had no texturizing material applied. I've heard people say they don't need those things...that their relationship with God is personal.  It is true..your relationship with God is personal, but He has given you fellowship, His Word, and prayer so that you can grow in your relationship of Him!!  If we do not utilize these provisions....how are we any different than the rest of the world?  The difference should be seen in how we live our life, how we treat others, how we respond in the good & bad times, and our relationship with God.  

Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me to 
pursue a personal relationship with you.
Thank you for allowing me so many ways to know 
you...and grow in my relationship with you.  Help
me Lord to surround myself with brothers & sisters that 
will encourage & challenge me in my faith...and model 
what a life lived for you looks like.
In Your Name, AMEN 

July 17, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Slow Down

Many times I've heard artists & art students say that they've had ARTIST'S BLOCK. They look at a blank canvas/paper, and are unable to find the inspiration to create.  They look for something that will spark/reignite the creative spirit within them.  However, so often the true issue isn't a lack of inspiration, but a life & mind that is too cluttered & busy to focus on that which is truly important.  When everything is a priority...nothing can be a priority.  You become so busy trying to juggle it all that you are unable to do that thing you once lived & loved to do so naturally.  The artist must be able to focus their attention & de-clutter all aspects of their life so they can freely create.  

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

I have to admit that I'm a Martha in almost all aspects of my life.  I pride myself in being a human doing instead of a human being. I multitask pretty much every aspect of my life.  There is a part of that which is truly who I am & how I am wired.  However, I can lose site of what is important as I bury myself with all the good things I can do.  I've had very wise people in my life tell me..."Just because you can do it...doesn't mean you should!"  This is in regards to church, work, family..etc. That is so hard for me.  Because I feel if something is within my power to do...I should do it!  However, when we (I) lay things down...it allows others to pick them up.  God wants to develop others as well!  Plus, by laying things down...I am able to find more time to rest at the feet of my Lord.  I am able to listen (because lets just be real...when you are doing doing doing...you don't always listen real well!).  I am able to learn new things.  I am refreshed.  When all of this takes place, and I do go back to the "doing"...I am able to approach it with the love, heart, and compassion of God.  

Dear Lord... 
Help me to slow down.
Help me to realize this world will go on without me doing everything.
Help me to find my quiet place..even in the midst of the crazy life I live.  
And may I go back to living & doing with a heart refreshed from my time of rest at your feet.
In Your Name, AMEN

July 16, 2016


 Join us for our state conference this Oct!   It is going to be a great time.

July 10, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: It Leaves A Mark

I ask my students to clean up after themselves...cleaning surfaces, rinsing out brushes, wiping off materials that may have picked up color or residue. It isn't just appropriate for one to take care of the messes they make, it is essential for those who come after them.  Work can easily be ruined by another not taking care of their supplies.  The student that follows comes in expecting a clean surface or clean materials....and the next thing they know their work is marked up & messy because of the actions of another.  I will say that personal responsibility should be taken on the part of all students to check their area & materials prior to beginning.  However, most just assume that the actions of another won't impact them. 

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15: 33

I have a very diverse group of friends & people that I associate.  I feel that just because I'm a Christian does not mean I must only spend time with other people that believe the same way I do.  How boring would that be?!?!  Plus, I feel that we must get outside of the church walls if we want to have an impact on the world around us.  Jesus made a point of spend time with those the "religious" people would not consider.  However, we must be very careful not to place ourselves in situations or with individuals that will have a negative impact on us. I would not place myself somewhere that I felt would cause me to struggle or would influence my ideas & attitudes in a negative way.  Many people will say, "But it is my ministry!"  The Lord would not place you in a ministry that would corrupt you & your character!  We must take responsibility....knowing ourselves, the people, & the situation well enough to know if we need to be in the midst of it.  Because if we are not careful...it will leave a mark.  So often people just assume they are unaffected by the company they keep and the places they spend their time.  Like the marks on a sheet of paper picked up from an unclean table....we pick up things when we are unaware.  We must protect ourselves & those that look to us for guidance by making wise choices in all we do.  

Dear Lord...so much in this world leaves a mark.
Help me to see what I need to avoid...where I need to invest...
and what you have for me.  I want to be where you want me to be.
In Your Name, AMEN 

July 07, 2016

Need a ArtEd Job?

Need a job? Willing to relocate to Nashville?  Email me!!  
We are looking for a few awesome art teachers!! ASAP

July 03, 2016

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Recycled/Trash Art

I love looking at artwork that is created from re-purposed materials. It is interesting how people try to "label" it.  Some people may call the work "Recycled" or "Trash" Art.  It might fall under "Assemblage" or "Mixed Media".  People aren't sure how to classify such pieces, but most would not consider it high/refined art.  However, this work can often yield an extremely powerful response from the viewer.  Everyday items with their own individual story are transformed into a larger/greater story by their connection/combination with other materials.  What once was ordinary or even thrown away...now makes an impact because of the transformation process through the artist's hands.  

He told them another parable: " The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.
Matthew 13: 31-32

People will often compare their gifts, talents, abilities, and training to others.  They may begin to think what they can offer is insignificant, unimportant, or even useless.  This negativity can truly defeat someone who wants to serve the Lord.  

Who did the Lord use to be the father & mother of the nations?
A couple who were well beyond the age of having children!

Who did the Lord use to free his people?
A criminal who had trouble speaking!

What did the Lord use to feed the multitude?  
The small lunch of a boy....who was willing to share!  

See...God does not use the perfect!  He uses those who are available.  No matter how small you may feel...God can use you in BIG ways.  He is able to use his artist's hands to transform your availability into his glory!  Through your willingness...you will grow...others will know...and God will be glorified.  A small seed can do big things!

Dear Lord...help me to see myself as you see me.
Help me to be willing & available to give all that I am...
because that is what you want from me.
In Your Name, Amen