July 29, 2015

It begins again soon....


July 26, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: The Art of Endurance

As an art teacher, I often find myself reminding my students that "GOOD ART TAKES TIME".  For some reason, they want to race through their projects to be the first one complete.  In the rush to finish, their work truly suffers.  They are messy, incomplete, lacking detail, and not fully developed in concept & composition. I will first tell them to look at their work HONESTLY and see if it is truly their best.  If they can see it is not, I will have them go back and fix it up.  If they tell me it is their best work, then I will take them through the different parts of their picture that might need their attention.  Sometimes during their attempts to complete their work ( the second time), I will hear them complain about something being too hard or that they "can't" do it (reasons why they may have rushed the first time....frustration).  They need to move past the mental blocks of "TOO HARD" & "I CAN'T".  They aren't just words, but mind sets that trap young artists and keep them from finding joy & success in creating.  I can reteach the lesson/concept, work individually with them, and answer questions they might have, but what will benefit them the most is continuing to try their best and work through their frustration.  There is an endurance in art that some do not consider.  Being an artist is like a marathon runner.  Time, practice, and pushing through the frustrations will yield reward.  One day they will look back and wonder why they struggled with such a thing.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of thrown of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Herbrews 12: 1-2

Our faith walk can be derailed by our mind set at times.  We allow the world to speak lies into our life that just aren't true.  These lies start taking root in our life, and we are unable to move forward. These lies are the things that so easily entangle.   Fixing our eyes on the Lord, pushing through the lies..focusing on THE TRUTH.  It takes some work.  It takes time of being uncomfortable. But if you continue in the truth...you WILL overcome! The next time lies come...situations rise up...war rages around you....you will do it all over again. This time though...your endurance in the faith is stronger. And the next...yes...there will be a next time...you will be stronger...IN HIM! The lies will no longer have the impact they once did..traps of this world will not get you. God will get the glory..and you will run the race with endurance....to the victory which He already has won!! 

Dear Jesus..let me run this race with the endurance that comes from knowing and walking with you!!  Let me not fall into the traps of this world. Let my eyes be set on You and believe the truth you have spoke and gave me in your Word!
In Your Name, Ted

July 20, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Know Your Strength

I know...it is Monday.  Life has been a bit crazy/busy in the E house.  Hope you had a wonderful Sunday, and may this get your Monday going in the right direction.  

When I first started teaching, I was afraid of weaving. I had never done it before! That was a problem because it was in every grade level's curriculum.  I had no idea how I was going to teach something I had never personally experienced(This was before Google & YouTube!!).  I humbled myself and asked some other art teachers to help me out.  The first couple years were really a struggle.  I did not take to weaving as quickly as I'd hoped.  However, I did not give up.  I also did not stop asking for help.  I knew I needed it.  If I was going to be the art teacher my students needed...I had to continue to humble myself & ask those better at weaving for help.  Weakness is not failure....it is opportunity. 

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10

Paul(the author of 2 Corinthians), had some amazing strengths!  He spoke with great power & authority, was not afraid of hard work, and brought God's truth to all (Jew & Gentile).  However, despite his obvious strengths....he never lost site of his weaknesses.  Those that only see THEIR strengths will not see a need for their greatest strength...JESUS. Paul knew that he could not do what he was doing in his own.  It was only by the power/strength of the Lord.  His weakness (and knowledge of it) allowed him to truly embrace his "STRENGTH".   Have you ever met those people that think they have it all together.  They don't see a need for a Savior because they aren't really THAT bad. If only they could be content in their weaknesses so they could realize the power & strength of Christ in their life.  Those weaknesses bring us before the Lord on our knees.  In Christ, our weaknesses can become strengths & our strengths can become the thing that God chooses to use for His glory.  

Oh, if you are wondering about my "relationship" with weaving now....my blog posts on weaving are some of my most commented on, pinned, and e-mailed about.  What was a weakness is now a strength, and I'm still learning more about weaving and different weaving projects every year!  

Dear Jesus, help me to acknowledge my weakness & give it to you.  My true strength comes from you & you alone.  I want to know my need for You...and live a life that is daily surrendered to You.

In Your Name

July 12, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: The Hands of an Artist

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
Colossians 3:23

If you spend much time with artists/art teachers, you will notice something about their hands.  They always seem to have evidence of their work.  I personally do not reserve it for my hands only(unfortunately).  My shirts, pants, shoes, face, hair, arms...all tell the story of my work.  A good artist or art teacher is so involved with what they are doing, that they often do not notice such things.  It is not a priority.  Their priority is doing what their heart aches to do...what they were created to do.  It is evident all over them!

God has called each of us into "ministry" if you have accepted the Lord as your Savior.  You know that, right?!?  Your ministry may not look like the pastor's, overseas missionary, or Sunday school teacher.  Maybe your ministry is being a mom, cashier, or an art teacher.  However, in all we do...it should be for the Lord.  And if we are working for the Lord...it should be with all of our heart, mind, and might.  People will begin noticing when you serve the Lord with all that you are.  Not because you are proclaiming your awesomeness & deeds, but because living a life for the Lord shows on you like an artist's hands.  Your words, work, attitude, and priorities all start looking like they have Jesus all over them!  

How about you?  Does your life have Jesus all over it?  If you feel like people may not be seeing Jesus in you...in all areas of your life, THAT'S OK!!  We aren't perfect, and no one has "arrived".  Each day we have a chance to do better than the day before.  We learn from our mistakes, and we give those areas of our life over to God.  Ask Him to help you see your WHOLE life as MINISTRY!  Try to do all things for God....work, home, friends, play..etc.  When we do this...we are like the hands of an artist, you can't help but see the evidence of their hearts passion.  

Dear Jesus, May I have messy hands for you.
My heart is to serve you in all things....not just "churchy" things.  My life is one of ministry, and I desire to know you and make you know.  Lord, may they see You in me as I live this life you have blessed me with.  May I never lose site of this.

In Christ Jesus,

July 09, 2015


Join me tonight for #k12artchat!!!  I'll be hosting a twitter chat on Professional Development/Summer PD.  If you are on twitter...please stop by!!  It runs from 8:30pm CST to 9:10pm.  You can stay as long as you like...just watch...or jump right in!!  Don't forget to follow me!!!

July 08, 2015

#jfj15for30 Challenge

During the month of June I participated in Journal Fodder Junkies Art Challenge!  SO MUCH FUN!! The idea was to create for at least 15 minutes a day in your art journal.  This was a good exercise for me.  I've found it very difficult to create with all that I have going on with....LIFE! (3 kids..6 & under) I didn't realize how much I missed my own creative pursuits.  Each day there would be a challenge prompt....so you had some direction, but fueled by your own creativity.  You can find mine & others' work if you go on twitter and search #jfj15for30.  You can also learn a ton about art journals and such at their website...  http://www.journalfodderjunkies.blogspot.com/


July 07, 2015

VBS 2015: Journey Off The Map

Some of the things I've been up to this summer.....

Every year I paint the set for VBS....I LOVED doing this years theme!!!  
The canvases are 20 ft long...and 8 ft tall.

I'm also in charge of crafts!(Imagine that?!?).  We set up stations on the floor that will accommodate up to 6 children.  Our largest groups were around 40 students(Our VBS is about 250 students.)   

We actually finger painted?!?!?! I never do that!!!  ha ha The kids loved it though, and the pictures turned out great.

We took group pictures of the students...so one of the crafts was a doodle frame.  We later laminated them, and placed magnates on the back.  They turned out great.

Here are my kiddos in front of the waterfalls!!  

July 05, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Get Out of the Boat!

Let me set the scene.  
The disciples see Jesus walking toward them on the water and are afraid.
  Understandable, right?  
But Jesus immediately said to them:  "Take courage!  It is I.  Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."  "Come," he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.  "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 

Matthew 14: 27-31

Henri Rousseau was a self taught artist.  Beginning his career later in life, he came onto the art scene during an interesting transitional time.  The Impressionists, Fauves, and Post-Impressionist were shaking up the art world.  Rousseau's work found itself in the mist of this.  Critics felt his art was terribly child like, and had nothing redeeming to say about it.   However, he persevered.  Rousseau continued to paint, show his work, and push forward.  He was not going to let the waves of "popular opinion" keep him from pursing his dream.  He could have never pursued his dream, he could have retreated when he heard the harsh words of the critics, he could have tried to fit more into what was "acceptable', he could have returned to the "comfort" of his old job,  BUT HE DIDN'T. He did not let fear keep him from stepping out and doing what was in his heart to do. Today, Henri Rousseau is considered to be one of the world's greatest artists, and his critics....long forgotten.

When I read in Matthew 14 about Peter attempting to walk to Jesus, what catches my attention is not the fact that Peter began to sink. I think all of us that follow Christ know there are times where we find ourselves "sinking" because we have taken our eyes off the Lord.  It happens.   No, I'm amazed that Peter got out of the boat! Though Peter was pretty impetuous, and it wasn't completely out of character to do such a thing.  I wonder what the other disciples were thinking?  "OH THAT PETER?!?" "Now that Peter has done it, I want to do it!"(Doubting Thomas) "Well, now we're going to have to find a new disciple!"  ha ha  Maybe they were kicking themselves for not getting out of the boat too?  

I sometimes think the hardest part is "getting out of the boat".  The fears of what "might be" can paralyze us.  How many times have we hesitated or completely ignored a prompting of the Holy Spirit?  Maybe the Lord wanted us to speak to someone, but we didn't want to come off crazy..or didn't want to "bother" them.  Has the Lord asked you to change professions, go on short term mission trips, start a bible study, give financially to someone or some ministry, or mentor a younger believer?  Are you afraid to step out of the boat and do what He is asking you?  I know it is hard.  But, I also know...HE IS FAITHFUL!  Don't fear what the "critics" might say.  They often speak from a place of not understanding.  The voice you need to listen to is the Lords.  

Be like Rousseau & Peter, and take a step of faith!  Don't let the distractions from those around you...or the things around you to keep you from pursuing what you know you should be!


Dear Jesus, help us to get out of the boat!
Allow us to know you in a way that removes all fear & doubt.
May our hearts be sensitive to Your leading, and 
may our ears be quick to hear Your voice.
The waves of the world...the words of the critics have no 
power over us.  Greater is He who is in me...than he who is in the world! 
In Your Name....AMEN