“Angel of the Middle East”


“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.””

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:7-12‬ 

This is another angel ornament you can find in my shop Andrearileyarts.etsy.com.  I thought today was a good day to pray for the Middle East and the scripture above gives great imagery and context for the times we are living in.  Pray for the world and take heart, Christ has overcome

God Bless Our Heroes in Blue

Isn’t she a blue beauty?  I’m most in love with her purpose.  And that is to honor and bless our law enforcer officer who protect and serve our communities and our country.  Where would we be without the sacrifices they make in order to keep us safe?  They put their lives on the line each and every day and so we have our “God Bless Our Heroes in Blue” prayer angel ornament.   Thank you to all those in uniform and to their families.  We love you!

You can find her in my etsy shop here💙https://www.etsy.com/listing/479380121/blue-angel-ornament-police-officer-gift


If, by chance, you feel a flutter….

http://etsy.me/2c3gAvY


I’m so in love with gold foil paper in dreamy soft colors.

Translucent wings added a nice airy touch.


Fine, feminine little details like sateen bows.

I love the idea of decorating a little girls room with these.  They would make sweet baby shower or baby dedication decor too! 

May Angels guard and protect you!

Blessings,

Andrea 

Encouraged in Heart

We have the ability to be a gift to those around us by letting our light shine brightly in the darkness and giving love and encouragement away. My neighbor, who is from Pakistan, said to me today “it is so dark now!”… Referring to the state of the world. I reminded her that the good in us can make a difference to the world. (Rather than be consumed by what is going on). We were made for such a time as this. We have purpose, we have hope for a good future and we have the ability to give those things to the world💝🌍

“The Birds of the Air”

IMG_0612.JPG

“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭26‬ MSG)

What is provision to you?

We thank God for our families, our jobs, the food on our tables, the roofs over our heads. We regularly pray for God to provide the things we need. There is a comfort in raising up those petitions as if in the voicing of those needs (wants), actualization will follow. But, He gives freely. Does He not? And really, who best knows our needs even before we do? Therefore we should not worry. We are “in the care of God”. We count far more than birds so we may rest and trust that He will provide all that we need just as He does for the birds.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭29-31‬ NIV)

…And as I write, a sweet hummingbird just buzzed across my window. Ha! I love it.

Back to the birds in this painting: On a hike one day, big gusts of wind kicked up and the birds in the canyon took to the air. They glided through the air so freely with ease, doing what they were made to do. The windy conditions were not a hindrance to them at all but they delighted in being up there because they knew how to navigate the wind. I wished I could do that!

Some people have the ability to organize chaos and count and corral numbers with accuracy. There are people who can figure out how to piece together all the working parts of an engine… And they do these things in accordance with their innate giftings. Those skills are just a natural part of their God given personalities.

We all have things we know how to do that no one else on earth could do in the exact same way that we can. There are skills we have been developing from when we were little children playing and learning. We all have our very own DNA and our very own set of experiences that shape who we are.

I want to nudge our view of provision slightly upward from the physical context to a heavenly perspective. Can I do that? Look at provision differently? As in, the tools and skills we need to fulfill our purpose here on earth together.

“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭1, 8-11‬ NIV)

Watching those birds gliding through that canyon, I was struck by how God had provided the skills they needed to be up there doing their thing.

How often I have been blessed by one of God’s people who embraced the things God made them good at? I have some amazing friends who pray in Jesus’ name and I’ve received healing. I have experienced kindness from friends who are so generous with their talents that it has changed my life. I have talked with friends who are great teachers and gained wisdom that only they could have imparted to me at just the right moment. I know people who’s life work is traveling the world to all nations teaching about God’s kingdom. There are others who go out in public and share the Gospel so boldly and naturally. I see these friends and marvel at how awesome God made them! I am inspired by how easy it looks to do what they do and I remember it is because of the gifts God has given them and their own willingness to step into their callings that they are able to do what they do. I get inspired to dream the dreams God has placed in my heart and set my attention to the things God has planned for me to accomplish here on earth… Only with His help and provision can I do anything of value.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭5‬ NIV)

The Banquet Table

IMG_0559.JPG

Gearing up for Thanksgiving Day, I was looking for something meaningful to post here and I realized I had never shared “The Banquet Table”. [painted in March 2013] It hangs out above our dining table all year long. I thought it might be perfect timing to share this now before we feast.

For me, this image doesn’t just evoke words like “wedding feast” or “celebration” or even “Thanksgiving Day”. Those words are only part of the story. My deepest impression when I look at this picture on my wall every day is that of adoption.

Adoption is about being loved and accepted completely as a son or daughter. It means we’re not alone anymore. It means we experience being a permanent part of a family; the kind of family where no one is forgotten or excluded and you never get “kicked out”. It means having a Father who cherishes you as his darling child.

It’s kind of a process. It is surprisingly hard to drop the orphan mindset you have defaulted to for so long. But, really this is what Jesus calls us to: relationship.

In the original vision that inspired this painting, Jesus is seated at the head of the table. Here, He is represented by the glow beneath and arbor. Jesus beckons you to His banquet table. He motions for you to take the seat next to Him, as His beloved son or daughter. Because you were adopted into His family the moment you chose to believe, the best seat at His table is always saved just for you. There are many seats at this table, but you are called to take the seat next to Him, having full access to His loving attention.

During His time on earth, Jesus ate with His disciples and “sinners” frequently.

“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. “(‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭17‬ NIV)

“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭10‬ NIV)

“While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.” (‭Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ NIV)

We find Jesus shared in meals even after His resurrection.

“Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.” (‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭12-14‬ NIV)

What an unlikely thing to expect, that the King of kings, the Creator of all things, would invite you to come and sit and talk with Him over a meal. And yet, He does this even now.

There must be something to this custom of sharing a meal together. It’s like He is showing us by example how to be a family. Do we really get that He loves us that much? That we can be loved so completely? He suffered and gave His life for us at the cross as a clear declaration of I love you. And He asks us to love one another as He has loved us.

In our American culture at the moment, gathering together with a group for meals is not as common as it used to be. Unless it’s for a special occasion, people don’t seem to dine together regularly anymore. We’ve become unaccustomed to being connected in community and have lost a sense of value in eating a meal together and perhaps even lost the social skills required for healthy relationships. Why would we get together when we have so many other things that need to get done in a day? Or, why would we take time to meet with our friends or family when we’d much rather relax and unwind in front of our technology?

I think there must be a special parallel between eating (getting sustenance essential for life) and relating to one another (and most essential is the relationship with Christ). We find spiritual food for our souls when we gather together and partake in relationship.

It is not always a simple easy thing, being in relationship. I have a burden on my heart to address the issues of family and community. On this personal note, I have spent a number of holidays with family, alone and at other times with friends who are like family when I no longer had much family around anymore. I can remember one year making Thanksgiving dinner when I was a single mom. It was just me, my daughter and my mom (who is now passed) and my little girl asking me during the meal why we didn’t have more people with us. My heart ached at her desire to have a larger family than what we had at the time. I felt the same way. Another year, I was blessed to be invited to a friend’s holiday meal where I was the single person amid a house full of married families with children most of whom were strangers to me. I was grateful for the thoughtfulness of my friend’s invitation, but my heart ached at the loneliness of being with them. This Thanksgiving brings more change as some loved ones are now with Jesus.

I am choosing to be an adopted daughter this year regardless of where I celebrate. I will walk out the door remembering my identity as an adopted daughter of The Most High God. Just as I look at this picture daily, I want to remember that every day I have the opportunity to accept the invitation to dine with my God.

Wherever you may find yourself spending the holidays, please always remember how loved and adored you are by our Jesus. He loves you with a limitless love and He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 and 31:8, Joshua 1:5, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Psalms 37:28 and 94:14, Hebrews 13:5)

Beating Heart

IMG_0489-1.JPG
Have you ever felt like you just had heart surgery (figuratively speaking)? That’s kind of what it felt like to be prayed for the other day. The pray-er so keenly tuned into all the daddy hurts in this bruised person’s heart. All kinds of feelings got stirred up and all I could do was watch as they came tumbling out all over the place! Sobs and a little blubbering followed. Good luck holding back the flood of emotions when someone acknowledges your inner cry for the love of a father (THE Father). Some would call this thing that is taking place inner healing. That’s a funny juxtaposition considering that to get to that healing, you get to feel the hurts in all their (un)glory. It feels nothing like healing while it’s taking place. But, the truth is, healing is Glorious. There was a Glory in being a few baby steps closer to knowing what it’s like to be loved by a good, [correction] GREAT Dad. What is it like to be loved by a perfect Father? I’m still finding out. My heart is all mushy and messy. I can say I feel different. Loved.

So we finger painted at a conference workshop last weekend and this is what my beating heart looks and feels like. And it is glorious to feel, and hurt …and heal.