Oftentimes we find ourselves in the little predicaments of life wondering just “how” did we get there, with an even more puzzling question that follows, “how” on earth do we get out from underneath it. In that question and wondering, we find the problem itself, if we are only willing to take a long, hard look. The predicament may very well be of our own doing and the place we are looking for resolution is not high enough – we default to looking to an earthly answer, when we should seek an audience with the Creator.
This Series presents a passage of Scripture that shows the direction, order and attitude which the Lord Jesus presented Himself as a model of how we should come to Him when we find ourselves in a place where we know we ought not be. The process is presented to us in John’s writings of the Gospel in John 11:29-45 (see Passage page for full text), very clearly giving us the way to identify how we fit into it today.
The Modeled Path
There is only “question” asked – we should immediately recognize and understand the Lord ALREADY knows the answer, we are being asked for our benefit, not His. The question is followed by three powerful directives which are meant to show us as Christians that He has the Power to remove any obstacle, to pull us out of any place we find ourselves, and to place us back on the path He has established for each of us. For our Lord and Saviour, it really is that simple, but just as He did then, order is paramount and His timing is Perfect.
Mary and Martha, as well as all those that had gathered there at their home, many of them Jews, had to “see” Him Work, and “hear” Him Say those things in order to Believe that God the Heavenly Father could do those things. If we will be honest with each other before a Holy, Righteous God, we are exactly the same way at times – maybe more times than we’d care even admit. Consider these thoughts:
(1) Where have ye laid him? – Jesus KNEW exactly where he was and He knows exactly where we are, but He chose to call out to those around Him so they would ponder the question.
(2) Take ye away the stone. – Jesus KNEW what was separating Lazarus from all of them, just as He knows what we hold onto, unbelief and sin that we commit, which separate us from Him. We have to be willing to lay it on the altar, willing to forsake it and turn away from it. The Lord often uses others to show us that we have locked ourselves away and are used of the Master to unhinge the doorway.
(3) Lazarus, come forth. – Jesus KNEW that Lazarus was the one that was in that “dead” place, He knows our name and wants us to hear His Voice when He calls to us – no matter where we are or have found ourselves. It is a Directive that He gives, but we are the ones who choose to listen for and to His Voice, none other can answer for us, just we ourselves.
(4) Loose him, and let him go. – Jesus KNEW what he was bound up inside of, commanding that Lazarus be freed from that bond, not to be held in that grip anymore – just as His desire is to set us FREE of those chains that can so easily bind us. We may often find ourselves believing that we are still attached to past chains, not realizing that when the Lord frees us, we are to remain FREE of them. Part of that process is having others give us godly wise counsel and be accountability partners during and well past the crisis being worked through.
Oh, how much the more that I want to make sure that the stones NEVER get rolled into place, where my lifeline to the Father and Throne Room of Heaven get cut off from me. I also know that when they do, He wants me back in His Will, that He WILL get my attention, He WILL make me aware of my position, He WILL call me by my name so there is no doubt as to who He is calling AND that He WILL loose me from those things which bind me, providing me the helps, counsels and escapes where it is no longer my struggle by my depending on Him.
There are twelve (12) prints that present passages of Scripture that allow each of us to see why “removing the stone” is SO important, which are individually packaged for our understanding from God’s Holy Word. We have to be willing to not hide behind the stone, relying on and in ourselves only, thinking no one knows where we are.
Removing the Stone
Where Is He | The Glory Of God | That They May Believe
Season And Time | All Thy Heart And Soul | Obedient Unto His Voice
Promise Is Unto You | How Shall They Hear | Have Mercy On Me
Open The Door | Ask Of The Father | Even Unto The End
The number one item drawn from this Series is to recognize that even when we have a “stone” between us and our Heavenly Father, the Creator God, He is still willing to see our need. As His children, He desires us to stay in Fellowship with Him, but of course with our sin nature – we are prone to wander. We should be ever thankful that we have in our own hands His Holy Word that shows us a human side of our Lord, to demonstrate His understanding to us how He ultimately has the Power to Forgive and Understanding of our disbelief’s. God’s Word gives us an incredible display of His Love, Forgiveness, Salvation, Mercy, Grace – that we should have NO doubt that He will go to ANY length to have Fellowship with His Children. What would you do for your child? How far would you as a parent be willing to go to get to your children? When would you be willing to sacrifice ALL? The God of All Creation gave His ONLY Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for EVERY child, even those that think they cannot be found… He KNOWS exactly where you are, who you are, what struggles you are facing, and has the Power to Forgive, Heal, Save and Loose you. Is there someone that is struggling, who is watching you to see if you notice their stone, Christian? Our testimony being shared with others as a witness may help another person consider that our God can remove their stone too.
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This Series has been a tough one to write, a deep delve into God’s Word and an interesting one to develop. When someone mentions “depression” in this day and age, one’s mind almost automatically goes to the picture of a “person” who has become so saddened, drawn back, hardened and has trouble with even the most basic of daily functioning – who also takes a drug to manage life. If you have been on this planet long enough to learn to read this, then someone undoubtedly just came to mind that fits that description… it could even be yourself.
It has been difficult for me to complete this Series without stopping multiple times to Thank the Lord for helping me through my own times. The topic of “depression” is taboo to so many, but is REAL to everyone, which includes Christians alike. I’ve heard a few Christians, even some Pastors and Pastoral Staff, mock the very real challenge of clinical and chemical depression of an individual to the point that it become a question of their Salvation because of it. When we find ourselves in the valley, that walk becomes VERY real…
While the following verses are not used in this Series directly, they are quite fitting for us as Christians to take a “heart” look at them:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 | King James Version
If this is all you read and pay attention to, you’ve missed why it was EVEN said – go back one verse…
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:3 | King James Version
King David had a moment of being depressed, by definition:
A sinking of the spirits; dejection; a state of sadness; want of courage or animation; as depression of the mind.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
One of the Greatest men in the history of the world, a Choice Servant of God and lineage directly pointed to in Scripture, to the Birth of Christ, needed to be restored. Not only do lost people get depressed, so do Christians – whether that be physical, chemical, clinical or spiritual…
Need of Restoration
We as Christians have to recognize what is causing the “depressed” state and call out to our Heavenly Father for the help we so desperately are in need of receiving. That call can be, as the first print declares – I’m Hurting – as we ask “Lord, Help Me…” with the following Scripture passage points out:
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Psalm 34:6-7 | King James Version
As this Series developed, ten (10) men (one being a group of them) were written down as reminders to me of individuals in the Bible who would fit our definition of “depressed” at one time or another in their walk with God. Those include:
Job, Noah, Kind David, Elijah, Paul
Disciples, Nebuchadnezzar, King Solomon, Jonah, Nicodemus
They each had challenges and restoration times, for indeed they were human, just like we are.
The challenge for imbalance in the human body is one we still don’t fully understand. We must realize also that for some people it is not caused by consuming things forbidden, committing an act of rebellion or one created by our actions. Granted now, we must also understand, there are a portion of people that can and do bring these challenges to themselves, to which they get to a point where they are out of control. The diving board design of the Logo for this Series is made up of the following prayer items:
Lord, Help Me… Not Hurt, Promise, Live, Stand, Know You
to Each Day Know More, Have Purpose & Manage
These are pieces which anyone suffering and/or battling depression can use to help them understand “Who” they need to talk to AND they should find someone to talk to that they trust/get help from which can provide the appropriate counsel on steps that need to be taken to identify what they are struggling with from a human perspective.
There are a total of sixteen (16) prints in this Series, with the first one being a Definition of what “depression” is and the perspective we can see in others from the Bible and what God’s Word says about it to Encourage us to stay in close communication with Him, but keeping our Fellowship open, honest and humble.
Lord, Help Me…
Know You Keep Promises
Know You Live In Me
Know You Stand With Me
Face Each Day
Know You Intimately Know Me
Know My Value
Know You Collect My Tears
Know My Purpose
Know We Are His Workmanship
Know We Are For The Master’s Use
Know He Is Working Inside Of Me
Manage My Depression
Understand Nothing Is Too Hard For Thee
Know All Is Known Unto You
We each will struggle with some type of setback, challenge, difficulty, roadblock or negative influence which can tailspin into focusing on the situation to a point of being or experiencing depression. No one is immune to the challenge of it – it is not an affliction experienced by only one group of segment of society, or humanity for that matter. Some would even go so far as to say that if you suffer from depression a person’s Salvation is in serious question. It simply is NOT so. Sometimes how we handle or deal with a challenge in our lives can slide us there by our own devices, where we dwell there WAY too long and strain our fellowship with others and even with our Heavenly Father. I pray that everyone who crosses this Series will take the time to read the entire site developed for it – it is longer than just his post. SO many are hurting, for I believe that a large majority of the cases for and of “depression” are because the person is hurting. These fifteen (15) passages and pointed statements are a starting point for the Christian to realize something can be done about it AND someone, God Himself, cares for them. For those that the issues is much deeper and not of one’s control, help them find someone to talk to and work to find the balancing agent which will alleviate the challenge as the Lord gives the doctors the ability to diagnose and treat them so they can get back to being the Servant God wants so desperately for them to be for Him. Are you the one that has the difficulty? Is it someone you know, love and care for? Pray for them, yourself and how you can be the person that convinces them to get help. Start with the God of All Creation and let Him Direct the path for the solution.
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Make-Up Artist Courtney Turner talks with Bobbi Brown about getting started in the make-up field. (Photo: Moon Silver Studio)
What to Read Next
||Starting at the young age of 13, up-and-coming make-up artist Courtney Turner has always had an eye for make-up detail. “I’ve always loved art for me, make-up is living art. My skin is my canvas, so I can paint whatever I want.” Knowing she didn’t fit into the regular job careers, Courtney branched out to the beauty community. “My parents were super supportive as I was growing up. They believed in me when no one else did. Then I got more involved in the beauty community, finding a whole new family!”
Bobbie Brown: How did everyone else react when you told them you wanted to become a make-up artist?
Courtney Turner: My parents, of course, were very supportive; but I did get a lot of criticism from my friends and a few family members.
How did you push past that?
I was hurt at first, but then realized that they were going to be people who wouldn’t understand. I just kept telling myself to press on, and never quit.
Who are your beauty icons?
Most people say Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. Mine is my Great-Aunt Ercelle. She was truly a classy lady!
How do you describe beauty?
I truly believe you can find beauty in the little things. Something as simple as a smile can be the most spectacular sight. It really is in the eye of the beholder. I really think confidence and a smile are the beautiful things anyone can wear, but a bit of lipstick never hurts.
Who were some of your favorite artists when you were growing up?
Well, first. YOU! I loved reading your articles on Yahoo! Beauty. My others are Sam and Nic Chapman and Wayne Goss.
“From the first day I knew I made the right choice in education.” says Turner (Photo: Instagram)
||Thanks for the mention! You’ve got great taste in make-up artists. It’s nearing the end of our interview, so two last questions. First, did you go to school specifically for make-up.
Not at first. My first layer of education was given at Aveda Beauty Institute Chapel Hill. I loved being there! Aveda is all about being good for the consumer, but also being good for the earth. That was really important to me. Since graduation, I’ve gone to make-up specific classes to really bulk up on training and certifications.
I’ve heard of Aveda, sounds like a great place. Now, our last question – Do you have any advice for other artists?
Well, I’ll start with the truth… It’s going to be difficult sometimes, and there will be days you just want to give up. But in the end, this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done! Definitely keep pushing yourself. Training from a school never hurt, but if you can’t go to a school, being an apprentice is very rewarding! Continue to be yourself, it will show in your creative work. Never be afraid to go beyond the normal to create something truly unique.
Well, it has been a pleasure to talk with you Courtney, looking forward to the next time we get to catch up you.
Thank YOU so much!
“Take joy in the little things.” Says Turner (Photo: Instagram)
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This Series is a direct result of a Mother’s response to a school assignment in the public schools system. Okay, before you tune me out, let me explain from a 40,000 foot view what pierced my heart – it wasn’t the assignment in question, nor was it the response, it was HOW the response was made. We as Christians should make responses to the daily challenges in life in light of the Holy Spirit and the Guidance He brings to our lives, through the study and learning of God’s Holy Word. I’m afraid that last part has endangered the Christian response, such that it is little different than the world’s response to the exact same set of circumstances.
Without going into all the intricate details of the incident, let me just put it this way – a child (7th grade) was given an assignment in school, which included a QR code in which to scan with a SmartPhone, that would yield an audio recording which they were to listen to for the report. The Mother’s response was actually pretty good, even the pieces of it were made on solid footing, yet there was a glaring issue that overshadowed any positiveness given.
This mother failed to consider the consequences of reflecting badly on the cause of Christ. All of the individual pieces have merit, else I would not have put this Series together as a set and warning to all Christian’s as to how we respond to worldly events and requirements. To be honest, personally was impressed at her list of Bible passages listed – they were and are INCREDIBLE as a set of tools in response as to depending on the Lord as our Provider, Rock and Saviour. The issue then? The tyrannical manner in which they were presented – it was NO better than that material presented by the school system to be taught in the classroom.
Might she have been placed in the perfect situation to be a witness to that specific teacher? Could it be that by God’s Providence that Mother might have been placed in that situation to help her child understand what God’s Word says about other false religions. Might this have been just what her child/ren could have been taught to better understand and stand up for themselves in the classroom?
Unfortunately (which is most likely going to be the case) the Mother created a reputation for herself, where it would MORE appropriate to show through the Reputation of God, His Mercy, Love and Compassion – than herself, as any sinner would. What are those things that are hot buttons for us individually? Do we stop before we write, share or speak to consider the Representation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we are making? Majority of her “physical” responses could have been made into pluses, positives, supports – but they were clouded about with terrible personal witness – such that any good intended, will most likely be so buried – little good may possibly come of it.
Fortunately, we have a firm set of reminders, found in God’s Word, that can and will help us with our responses if we will think of them FIRST – the responding accordingly. The responses developed from the Word of God is SURE and the Holy Spirit residing in each of us as Christians will keep us in His Will when we choose to rely upon Him.
Strong in the Lord
Wait Upon the LORD
Love the Lord
Grace is Sufficient
A Very Present Help
Be Thou Not Far
Each of us have had those situations occur where we were PERFECTLY right to be angry, upset and want to provide a response. The challenge to that entire thought is the word “want” – it is our want-er that needs to be affected by the leading of the Holy Spirit. How we say things, no matter how absurd the situation may appear to be, can be the most impact robbing and long lasting. Our intent may be that we want to give this person or that person a “piece of our minds” which something comes up. Even when there is a fundamental challenge being faced, there is always a right and a wrong way of approaching each of those situations. Would our Saviour be pleased with our responses over telling the world where they can stick their stuff? My Bible tells me that would NOT be the case. What part of the Bible are you going to show people who seem to be on the wrong side of the tracks? Your Actions, Emotions, Reactions, Words, Body Language, Attitude may be telling a completely different story than the one coming off your lips, thus out of your heart. May we point them to Him, instead of turning them away.
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