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  • Friday , 21 July 2017

When the Spirit Moves, She Draws With Chalk

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When she feels the spirit moving, Linda Furtado paints, sketches, sings, . . . and draws with chalk.

Marketing Manager for Upper Room Books, Linda took on a new role for SOULfeast 2015 and served as the music leader for The Upper Room spiritual retreat with the theme of Renew Your People. Following each worship service during the July 12-16 event, she felt inspired to create chalk drawings based on the events of the day and the prayer requests posted on walls by SOULfeast participants throughout the week.

Here are Linda’s creations, along with notes from her about each:

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^ No matter the dark times of hurt, pain, illness, or fear, make time to visit your mountain top. Peace and wholeness may just be a prayer and a rocking chair away. What is your rocking chair? A pillow, a photo, a smell, a place? Take time daily so you experience this quiet space with God.

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^ When life’s troubles hang over us, God is with us. Sometimes we let problems and concerns over friends and family stay in our minds and overshadow the blessings in our moments of fear, worry, and pain. Your mornings may not have known the feeling of joy in midst of grief and heartache. However, surely the presence of the Lord can bring peace, healing, and wholeness to the spirit within. This is the renewing love I pray for each of you. Just as you opened your heart requesting prayer, so we together for a moment in time where darkness is not allowed to break through. I’ve heard it said, “A family that prays together stays together,” and I hope this rings true. May this image remind you to continue to share your heart with a true community of faith and love.

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^ When we speak to God, each piece of our prayer could stand alone like a breath or even a single word on a post-it note. Bit by bit we have the ability to pour God’s love over each and every part. Just like we and our loved ones have difficult and hard to understand moments, Jesus, as he died on the cross, trusted the will of God and knew love. Jesus loves us. The pain of the cross can not hide this. Go and be that love for others. Hold them in your hands. Radiate that love. You will find joy in this prayerful living.

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^ When crosses, both large and small, begin to bring pain, regret, fear, sadness, and worry, hand each cross to God. Sometimes those crosses—from hate-fueled words to self-inflicted harm—can overwhelm us. This is not God’s desire. We have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let it rest, rule, and abide in you. Intercede so others can know this peace. Even though some crosses will not go away, God can bring peace beyond understanding and place a spirit of love within you.

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^ On the final day of SOULfeast 2015, Rev. Jacob Armstrong’s sermon inspired this impromptu sketch during the service. This was displayed in the worship setting on the altar after he preached. We are all invited to let go of ourselves even to the point of being face down to the ground. Once we begin to listen and ask for God’s help, it is possible to hear God calling us: to follow, to serve, to testify. During this service we raised our hands with Jacob, and he shared about God’s blessing in his testimony. I hope we continue to practice that which keeps us humble and focused on God’s direction and path for our lives. I hope we also regularly practice being witnesses of God at work around us, and within us. This good news is for everyone. We are to be witnesses for the Lord, sharing the good news for all the world to see.

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