Wednesday, May 29, 2013

God Speaks:Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives : Video Witness to Angels...

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

Some people believe miracles happen around us everyday. With the world getting smaller through increased communication and modern technology, sharing our stories is easier than ever.  The more we share, the more it seems that miracles do indeed happen all the time. Check out this inspirational story and testimonials about a car crash and the angelic interventions that saved the lives involved and changed the lives of everyone who hears about it.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Who We Are at our Core

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

Our Core


Determining who we are, at our deepest level, is often a difficult thing to do. Our definition of who we are and what our belief system is changes over time and with each life experience. Things we said we would never do in the past may change when confronted by difficult choices and decisions. As we go through life's journey, the very core of what makes us who we are develops, changes and is challenged. 
This art process takes that idea and asks artists to think about our "core being" and create and interpretation of what that might look at.  It gives an individual the opportunity to take a hard look at all the choices they have made in their lives and take ownership of all the mistakes, and successes, joys and regrets, and what effect that has had on their character and personality...their core being.

Things you need:  
Drawing paper
Markers, craypas, drawing pencils, crayons, chalks

Instructions:
Imagine yourself as an apple. You have a beautiful skin that you show to the world. Rosy and red, there may be some scars, there may be some bruises...
Under the rosy skin is the sweetness and foundation that makes up all that you are. All your memories, your actions, your life. 
At the center of it all is the core. This is what the rest of it is built around. Your core being. What are you at the very center? When everything else is taken away... what are the things that the rest of you is built around? Imagine your core... what would it look like? 

Draw what your core being would look like using the basic image of an apple core as a base.  Use color, line, images whatever, to define those things that you are at the very basic, center of your being, whatever that means to you....

Processing notes: 
When you look at your work, what do you see? Do you see positive images? Do you see negative and dark images or a mix of both.  Most people would present more positive than negative, but a mix, to show a realistic representation of an adults life journey. None of us go unscathed.  Someone who presents with all positive core being images may see themselves as idealized or want their life to be a fantasy.  Someone who presents their core as very dark and negative obviously would be a deeply sad and troubled person, still working through issues and not recognizing their inner good, in spite of having made mistakes through their lives.  

image:
License
Attribution Some rights reserved by roger.karlsson



Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Friday, May 17, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Proof of Angels? Can You Take Their Picture?

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

 Many people need proof of God's existence. God, Angels, such difficult, abstract concepts that both believers and skeptics would fall to their knees should they be so blessed to actually encounter. 

While researching stories for this post, I came across this blog written by a person of faith, a spiritualist and photographer.  This person claims to have captured the image of angels on film.

I do not know what the author has photographed, but I thought it interesting enough to share with all of you.  Why not? Maybe its true, maybe it's a fantasy... but if it makes you feel closer to God...then it is a good thing isnt it? 
Check it out and decide for yourself.

Angels Do Exist in NYC: Photographic Proof

 http://scottufford.com/2011/03/10/angels-exist-nyc-photographic-proof/


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Students Take Up the Pro Life Cause

The Pro Life movement is a cause that has a lot of support from young women on college (and even high school) campuses everywhere. Speaking their minds and supporting a Christian cause like this does not come without some repercussions however, as discussed in this article on Lifenews.com.

Check it out:

Pro-Life Students Increasingly Face Free Speech Limits on Campus

by Brent Bozell | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 5/13/13 9:54 AM

It sounded like a freedom-of-religion case when a Columbus, Texas high school relay-race team was disqualified from the state track championship because Derrick Hayes pointed heavenward after his team won the race. That would seem odd in a red state like Texas. It turned out that officials were so strict, they warned runners to make no hand gestures after the finish line. Hayes had apparently pointed forward, and then upward, and for that, he was out.
It can be tough to be a student in today’s public schools. Never mind restrictions on the schools. It is becoming impossible to express a socially conservative or Christian viewpoint – as a student. Across the land, everyone is ordered to welcome without a discouraging word any expression of the gay or transgender variety. But try to say the G-word or oppose abortion, and watch someone lower the boom.
– In Minnesota, a sixth-grade student was prohibited by her public school from distributing pro-life pamphlets during lunch time. One of the fliers read, “Save the baby humans. Stop abortion.”
A few days later, she was called into the  school director’s office and told that some students find pro-life fliers offensive and that she was no longer allowed to pass them out during or after school hours, even if other students requested them. In an e-mail to the student’s parents, the school’s executive director claimed that the content of the fliers was inconsistent with the school’s educational mission.
“The school has a right to censor students without violating their free speech,” the director wrote. “In short, public schools have every right to prohibit student speech.”
Lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on May 3. “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”
– In New Mexico, a group of evangelical high school students aligned with the “Church on the Move” lost a round last month in their fight to give classmates two-inch “fetus dolls” with a pro-life message attached. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the school district’s authority to stop the doll distribution. Why?The 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District established that students have free speech in schools, as long as it doesn’t disrupt school discipline. According to Education Week, teachers complained that students who had received the roughly 300 dolls that were handed out were throwing the dolls across classrooms, using them to plug toilets, and in other ways causing serious disruptions in the school day.There are no reports of any legal or disciplinary actions taken against the students responsible for vandalism. – In Michigan, the Students for Life chapter at Eastern Michigan University applied for student fee funding to host a display on campus called the Genocide Awareness Project, a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to other forms of genocide. EMU denied the funding request because they deemed the photos of the aborted babies and the event as too controversial and one-sided. But they’ve granted money to left-wing activist groups discussing “welfare rights,” as well as race-issues and abortion rights groups.

Read more at :  http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/13/pro-life-students-increasingly-face-free-speech-limits-on-campus/

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Found Hope (Love,Courage, Peace,...) Guerilla Art

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

We have talked about Guerrilla art here before. Basically it is the concept of bringing art into the community in an unexpected way. Usually it involves big, bold artistic statements, but in this case, it is more about a generous sharing of handmade art and a simple message to a stranger that is a gift to the art maker and the surprised recipient. 

Making art is a deeply personal expression for most of us, and because of this, the act of giving it away, to a stranger...indeed, to leave it behind is both terrifying and liberating.  This art therapy process challenges the artist to consider a concept on a personal, emotional level, and then share it with a stranger.  By creating something meaningful, then lovingly gifting it away, the artist can work through issues of loss in other areas of their lives.

You'll need:  Small art canvases between the sizes of 4x6 to 8x10" on hard board, acrylic paints, brushes, water, Pens, high quality writing paper, dry glue sticks

Choose a word that reflects something that is important to you:  Hope, Courage, Love, Peace, Faith, Joy, Friendship, Mercy, Forgiveness etc.

On the small canvas, paint an abstract expression of that word using color, line and movement. Use the entire canvas area, covering it entirely.  Let it dry. 

Once dry, paint the word your chose boldly somewhere on the canvas, over the painting.  Allow to dry.

Pick up the paper and pen.  Cut the paper down to the size of the canvas.  Write the word "Found" followed by the word you chose to represent on the front of the canvas.  (so, you'd have "Found Love, or Found Forgiveness, Found Courage etc.)

Look at those words.  Imagine finding this, like a fortune, somewhere, like you were someone who needed it.  What would you say to that person?  Write it down on the paper.  For example, you might write:  "Found Love:  You found this today because someone thought you needed a hug, you needed to be recognized as worthwhile, and valuable, You are beautiful, wonderful, and worthy of big love. This artwork is a gift to you. "

Glue the message on the back of the canvas. 

Now, take your canvas out into the world. Leave it on a park bench, a seat on the bus, at a restaurant, in a mailbox, where ever someone who might need it, will find it.  Walk away from your wonderful gift knowing that you have shared strength and healing greater than yourself.


image:
License
AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Littlest Finch
Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

Thursday, May 2, 2013

God Speaks: Stories of How God Works in Real People's Lives: Angel Interventions

The book "Treasuring Grace" was inspired by a dream in which co -author Tracy Roberts feels that God spoke to her and directed her hand in the writing of the story. Many people feel God's special influence in their lives in direct or indirect ways.  This column seeks to bring you some of their inspirational stories.

While researching this column I came upon a very interesting and well written article on netplaces.com about angel interventions.  I wanted to share it with everyone here, as sometimes the web is so big, we miss these treasures.  


Case Studies: Angel Interventions

Millions around the world believe in angels. From every culture and geographic location and period in history, we have heard about angels. Angels are known as spiritual beings, messengers of God, or spirits of the dead transformed after passing that are historically described as God's task force, protectors, and guides for people in the earthly realm. They are often portrayed in art, literature, and other media as winged beings, filled and shrouded with light, often androgynous looking, sometimes with halos, and dressed in white, resplendent in the qualities of love, kindness, protection, joy, glory, destiny, healing, justice, protection, and celestial power.
In the Judeo-Christian traditions, there are also archangels, who appear to have special significance and proximity to God. In fact, many religions hold strong to the notion of angels, their mission-related purposes, and their roles in human life.
Tales of angel interventions have appeared throughout recorded history in religious texts, such as the Koran and the Bible (where there are hundreds of references), as well as religious and mystical texts in many of the world's religions, such as Judaism, the Bahá'í faith, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, and others. For example, in the Bible, angels intervene to share messages or bring news, provide comfort or enlightenment, and sometimes to perform tangible tasks, such as the rolling back of the stone before Jesus' tomb after he was crucified.
Angels are depicted as being the messengers of God, acting as the gobetween for humans and God. Angel interventions are known to occur in order for the recipient to transcribe their messages, producing scriptures as is seen in the Koran, the works of Rumi, and various Christian mystical texts. There have been many famous stories of angel interventions for artists and historical figures alike, guiding their acts and works, from Joan of Arc, to Handel, to William Blake. Contemporary research and literature have also documented accounts of angel interventions.
These visitations can involve visions, audible information, smells, and tactile sensations. Angels are also often reported to appear as similar to regular human beings, as stated by Daniel Benor in Personal Spirituality: Science, Spirit, and the Eternal Soul. Benor claims that angels are “described as looking like normal people who appear out of nowhere, give their assistance, and then disappear again into nowhere. They may communicate in gestures, words or telepathically.”

Life-Saving Interventions

Angels often intervene to prevent accidents and death. In an account from firefighter Mark Kuck, retold in The Big Book of Angels, an angelic voice gave warning and instruction to the firefighter, allowing him to save his life and the life of his partner. While fighting a fire in a mobile home, Kuck was caught in a fatal flashover:
He heard a clear male voice: “Mark,” it said “you need to go.” Mark was astonished. The voice was audible, yet it couldn't be his partner — he was too far away to be heard. And an air pack distorts a voice…. Not like this voice, so distinct and close it was almost at his ear. Nor were there any openings in the trailer where someone outside could yell through. What was happening?
After Kuck and his partner retreated, the flames advanced into the room they had been in, and if they had not left at the moment they heard the voice, they would have perished. Later, as the fire waned, Mark thought more seriously about the voice. It had been a young voice, something like his own, firm but not intimidating, a voice that he instinctively knew he could trust and obey. And, yes, he had heard it once before, when he was seventeen and involved in a serious automobile accident. Wasn't it this same voice that had calmed him as he crashed, reassured him that all would be well? But how could this be?
In another account from bush pilot Terry Baldwin, retold by Daniel Benor in Personal Spirituality: Science, Spirit, and the Eternal Soul, we again find a human-sounding voice said to be an angel intervening. Baldwin was flying passengers through the bush when they were caught in a dangerous storm, and his instruments began to fail. An apparent air traffic controller led them to safety through the storm, evidently using only radar instructions, as the passengers prayed openly. However, Baldwin lost touch with the voice when the radio broke off, and another voice appeared suddenly, just as the plane touched down to safety. At this point, Baldwin said:
“Thanks tower. There's little doubt that you saved our lives today.” The controller's reply cast a stunned silence over the men in the plane.
“What are you talking about? We lost contact with you about forty miles out.”
In this case, as in many other accounts, prayers often come directly before an angel intervention.
According to Carmel Reilly in True Tales of Angel Encounters, aside from miraculous life-saving encounters, we often hear of angel interventions where angels appear as guardian angels in everyday experiences, angels appearing in dreams, angels seen during meditation or prayer, angels sharing messages or news, angels performing real physical acts, and angels as spirit guides and ghosts.

Angels and Near-Death Experiences

There are also many recounted instances of angels present in neardeath experiences as well as out-of-body experiences. As professor Craig R. Lundahl stipulates in an article entitled “Angels in Near-Death Experiences,” “Angels are personages with whom the near-death experiencer does not usually recall having previous acquaintance. Angels serve as guides, messengers, or escorts in the NDE.” Lundahl says that in one account of a neardeath experience, “a man … came close to dying as a result of being ill during a tooth extraction, and took a trip to Heaven where he saw angels.” In another account, there was a woman “who described angels holding hands to form a stairway to Heaven” before she was revived.

Read more at :  http://www.netplaces.com/evidence-of-the-afterlife/angels-heaven-and-hell/case-studies-angel-interventions.htm

image by:
License
Attribution Some rights reserved by Madison Berndt

Pro LIfe and Healing after Abortion Blog Hop: Join Us