Tragedy Triggers Prayers for Peace

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“Only time Canada makes the headlines here (in the UK) is when there are insane killers on the loose.”

That was the first Facebook headline from a Canadian friend overseas I read today in reference to the shootings in Ottawa, my dear nation’s capitol. Ottawa holds a special place in my heart. I landed there when I first left the nest. It welcomed me to my first grown up, non fast food job – and it was on Parliament Hill.

Times of tragedy and loss draw our common humanity to unite. Senseless acts of violence shake and humble us, reminding us we are still never ultimately in control of the precious gift of life, no matter how far we have “progressed.”

When there is a tragedy, the hashtag #prayer suddenly trends online, irregardless of people’s spiritual background. There’s something about prayer that works good in us and through us, bringing light and peace to counter the darkness within and out.

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Psalm 51 Scripture Calligraphy

When my heart is searching for words to say in prayer dialogue with my Abba Father, he often guides me with the beauty of the honesty in the Psalms. This is one of my go-to prayers when I sense my Father’s Spirit probing me to dive into the deep with him.

As another Psalm says, “You have searched me and known me. Where can I hide from you? Whether I rise to the skies, or sink to the seas, you are with me.” (Psalm 139) Oh, I feel exposed as He gently removes my fig leaves. Truth calls me into the light of the cool of the garden to walk with my Creator, who knows all things about me already.

Teach me wisdom deep in my heart, transform my mind, heal my body and soul. Don’t let me rely on my own wisdom, that I may fear you, that it is healing for my flesh and refreshment to my bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8)

If you would like to purchase this print, you are invited to do so over in my online shop of inspirational scripture and art prints.

Reflections on Life Stories and Storytelling from Istoria Conference

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Inspiration and creativity burst onto my sketchbook pages at the Istoria Conference hosted by Coastal Church last year. How could I not be sparked by the mastery of storytellers Jim Krueger, comic writer/novelist/filmmaker, and Gordon Pennington, seasoned consultant to corporations/institutions/governments who has a sober understanding of the media/entertainment/technology world we live in. Read some of his cultural insights here.

Far from a pragmatic “three point outline” approach, they delivered a mountain of nuggets of wisdom through storytelling. This was my attempt to review and retain what resonated with me.

Despite the spheres of privilege and success he has undoubtedly circled, I was especially struck by Pennington’s humility and grace – and not just in his speaking. As Pennington sat in the audience in the pew behind me to listen to Krueger speak, he saw a glimpse of my sketching. I was humbled he asked for a closer look, offering kind words of encouragement. Later as I struggled to put my arm through my coat sleeve, he graciously assisted.

I hope they offer the conference again as it was an amazing resource and encouragement.

The Joy and Pain of Creativity

creative ppl inflicted ideas calligraphyThese wise words resonated and burned in my heart the first time I heard them. My dear friend Ann, a communications peer who had a successful run as an advertising copywriter, and I were brainstorming and talking creative stuff, as usual. So many ideas, so little time!