2018 is off and running quickly…we are already half way through January! In a new year people become expectant about hearing from the Lord and anticipating what they can look forward to in the next twelve months. It is exciting to to hear what new beginnings and hope our lives will experience in the days ahead.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking to our hearts about His purpose for each of us in this season. Our purpose will become more and more defined as the year progresses. As we surrender all to Him, this defined purpose will begin to change our identity. We will see more of His moving in our lives, our outlook, and perceptions of who we thought we once were. This will be characterized by our deepening relationship with Him. He is looking for hungry people. Hungry people draw attention to His favor and anointing. This is a year of new beginnings, begin yours now.
I begin each new year with a Detox…
The detox I’ve used for years is the Lemon Detox. I have more than enough lemons growing on one tree to last me a couple of years. I really makes you feel good with energy to spare; great liver cleanse.
This detox recipe is easy and the ingredients are readily available, but it only gives you the amounts for one glass and I usually drink about a gallon of it in one day. No other food (except coffee which I can’t ignore…busted)!
2 Tablespoons of organic lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of organic, grade A or B maple syrup
1/10th teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
10 oz. of filtered water. Stir and enjoy.
I’ve begun new paintings and creative projects, can’t wait to share them with you! Coming soon!
This is a partial snapshot of a painting I’m working on, continuing my “Angel” series, done with a pallet knife and finger painting. The big reveal coming.
This week on Instagram I was posting pictures to guess where I would be going on my next adventure…it seems that the only people who correctly guessed were the ones I already told! Take a look at this collage of some of the pictures that I posted and see if you can find where I’ll be in the world.
If you guessed correctly, I will be going to Israel and Jordan (Indiana Jones and Petra). This has been a “bucket list” item for about forty-five years, a true heart’s desire. I’ve wanted to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to go where He was, to experience the Holy Land and its tremendous history. I am going with a group that will be touring the sights and also following the Holy Spirit to pray for the nation and hopefully to walk in Matthew 10:8, as the Lord leads*.
Most of the time that I am doing ministry I bring along my artwork; when traveling I make postcards to give personal prayers and words of knowledge for the people I encounter. Here are a few that I’m working on before I go. I pray over the cards to be anointed for the specific person that I meet, to encourage them in God’s great love for them, and it becomes a memory of what the Lord was speaking to them. I’ve run into people that I’ve done “art” for after 25 years and they tell me how much the “words” I gave them were significant to their lives. I want those encounters to be blessed and living for each individual.
Cards in process.
Sometimes I embellish them.
(The two following are just examples to show what a finished card would look like. I may write a scripture or a personal word for a person on the back.)
One Last Thing
To encourage you, my faithful friends, I posted this on Instagram today:
(Even little ol’ me at 4 – God had me in His thoughts.)
Just imagine…you were chosen from the foundation of the world to host the presence of a holy God, to live in such a time as this, and to do incredible things!
Think big and pray bigger!
God is speaking to your heart right now about the dreams, inspiration, and callings on your life.
The Heavens are open to hear your prayers. The Lord desires your heart and is waiting for you to draw near to Him. Unimaginable resource is available to you right now to answer the desires of your heart. There is no question that God is calling you into an encounter with Him. Are you willing? Do you desire something new in your life? Are you needing answers to impossible situations and relationships? Are you desperate for the provision from Heaven to abundantly supply your financial needs? There is only one tangible answer to all of these questions…Seek first the Kingdom of God!
You say that’s too simple. I say it’s the only way. I have always thought that I was following after God and all His righteousness, though in recent days His Presence had faded and His voice not as clear. I imagined I was right with God, His grace had seen me through some difficult times, and I never stopped loving Him…but I knew my passion and my life with Him was not what it used to be.
So I made a decision to stop everything I was doing and began to seek Him first. Everything is a step of faith and I didn’t feel much different at first, but as I continued to read more of the Word, find time to sit at His feet, and to spend time worshiping Him, He began to draw closer to me. I had to still press in. His voice in my spirit was clearer and His presence was tangible. Then things began to change. Noticibly my blogs which had 10-12 new followers a week jumped to 1,900 in two weeks! My desire to meet and make new friends exploded exponentially, I was even able to join a community of believers that I’d prayed for 20 years to be part of. My thinking became clearer with new ideas and creative thoughts, even opening my imagination to new ways of seeing things. I have new strength and vitality. All aspects of my life are changing; body, soul, and spirit. It is so amazing! God does give you all when you seek Him.
Try believing the Lord at His Word, seek Him with all your heart! Believe!
I’m finding some time in my exhaustingly busy schedule to set aside “practicing” my artwork. I’m trying new techniques and mediums, and learning what works well together and what could be a tragically incompatible. Life is a learning process. We cannot expect all things to be perfect but it is in doing little things often that we acquire great skills, success, and achievement. It is a journey of trust and confidence in the One our heart loves.
What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
When we are in the midst of difficult times, we have to remember the most important things and not get sidetracked by every other thing that would cause us to lose focus. This week my mother-in-law passed away into glory after a long illness. I spent the past year and a half caring for her and her life outside of my own home (three hours away) and was living in her house. Even though it wasn’t even my mother, Helga, deserved the honor and attention that only a family member could give. Since her own children had to work and lived far away, she became my focus for eighteen months and everything outside of that was put on hold for me. She was well-loved by the community here and church, and she will be very much missed by all of those who knew her. Chico State University will honor her by placing the flags at half mast on campus and the North State Symphony is dedicating a public concert on her behalf. (See the obituary below.)
Even though my focus was elsewhere for so long I haven’t forgotten my followers and blog friends. Now I can concentrate on you! I have an update on some of my projects, artwork, and encouragement, so I thought I’d begin afresh. This year will be the beginning of a whole new journey for me and most of you.
Today I wanted to encourage you and bring a scripture to cheer your heart.
Be bold this year! Go out with confidence and do what your heart is prompting you to do! This is a time of new beginnings and finding an updated life, full of promises!
Helga Was a Grand Lady
Helga Maria Ruge passed away peacefully at Amber Grove Place in Chico, CA on January 25, 2016. She was born in Wiesbaden, Germany on December 25, 1922 to Karl and Elisabet Kley. She received her Abitur, (high school diploma) with distinction, in Köln in 1942. She attended the Universities of Berlin and Marburg, Germany, and in later years graduated from Chico State University. She met Neil M. Ruge in 1945 in Bad Wildungen, Germany when he was in the Army, and after a four year long-distance courtship by letter, they married in Palermo, Italy in July 1949. Neil was an American Foreign Service Officer by then and she became an American citizen in two months.
Helga accompanied Neil to his various posts abroad, living in Palermo, Sicily, Casablanca, Morocco, London, England, Cardiff, Wales, Washington D.C., Munich, Germany, and Guatemala City. Their son Carl was born in Casablanca and daughter Madeleine in Bad Wildungen. Upon Neil’s retirement the family moved to Chico in 1969.
Helga Ruge was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, the Chico Guild-North State Symphony and Chico Symphony Advisory Board. She served as President of both organizations. She was also a member of the Cosmos Club, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Family Service League, the No-Host Dance Club, the former Community Concert Board, Chico Museum, Stansbury Home, Foreign Service Association, MOAA, and was a long time member of a ladies bicycle group.
Helga enjoyed singing in the University Chorus and her church choir, and was very supportive of symphonic music in Chico. She loved to entertain and was the ultimate hostess; one specialty being throwing big garden parties to help raise money for the symphony.
After Neil passed away in 2000 Helga wrote and self-published three books: Flashbacks of a Diplomat’s Wife, a memoir; Whither the Promised Land, a novel; and More Truth than Fiction, Growing up in Europe between the World Wars. She loved giving presentations about her books to all sorts of local groups.
Helga also enjoyed reading, gardening, traveling and the arts—especially opera and classical music.
She is survived by her sister Ilse Kley of Köln, Germany, son Carl Ruge and wife Deborah (Annie), daughter Madeleine and husband Tom, grandchildren Micah, Leah, Morgan, Peter, and great granddaughters Peyton Ruge and Layla Ruge.