Happy Good Friday!

That says it all–even if it’s a wee bit late.

Today is the day we commemorate what Jesus did for us on the cross. And I am so grateful for it.

Okay, so maybe the title doesn’t say it all.

Have a good Easter when it comes. But we wouldn’t have Easter without Good Friday.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

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A Brief SetBack (And GN Update)

A lot of times when I am following what God has told me to do, I feel like it will be easy or it will be successful. That’s not necessarily the case. Just because you’re obedient, doesn’t mean you’re not going to fail. For example, when Jesus sent out the disciples in Matt. 10, He told them what to do if people didn’t accept their message. In fact, He was up front with them and told them that they would be persecuted and arrested. Obedience didn’t keep them from getting hurt.

So when I started on this Graphic Novel project, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t going to be easy and it may not be successful.

I started out well, the first few pages were beautiful, and I was pleased that I was able to draw a decent ruined Jelu. But then came pages 8 and 9. I guess part of it was that I wasn’t feeling well, but my drawing that day was awful! AWFUL! Later that day I went back to it, and I was appalled. Every panel had something I had to fix, and one panel had to be completely redrawn from scratch. All my old insecurities flooded back to me: What am I doing? Why am I trying to do this? I can’t do this.

I was obedient, but not successful.

But instead of giving up . . . with all my insecurities ringing in my ears . . . I prayed for strength and ability, sucked it up, and tried again. My redrawn sections were much better. Not perfect, but my best. And no, I still can’t draw a speeder. Though I tried. I imagine that when I get better at drawing, I’ll come back and redraw what I have right now. But what I have will have to do.

So I’ve moved forward. I’ve finished penciling the first 11 pages of the GN–that’s Chapter 1. Next week comes inking.

On a more positive note, I got me a dip pen set. And I LOVE it. I drew and inked the GN’s cover for practice, and it’s the first time I’ve ever liked my line art. Oh, those crisp, beautiful, black lines! I love them. I also got my proof copy for Celebrity Dish so I’ll be working on that too.

Anyway, that is all.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

A Test of Obedience

A few weeks ago I posted on “Obedience in All Things.” I attempted to be real and talk about an area where I had failed. Well, I am making progress on doing those three things I referred to—the three things that I had neglected for so long. But now here comes the test of that resolve.

One of the things that I had neglected was working on my drawing skills. I’ve never described myself as an artist. I’ve always said, I am a writer who draws, nothing more. Truth is, I had given in to comparing myself to others who have much more talent than I do . . . people I can never hope to catch up to. In essence, I ignored God’s command to use His gifts for His glory. Instead I thought to myself, “There are much better artists than me out there, so let them handle it. After all, the Church is one body, right? We’re supposed to encourage and support one another. They can do the art, and I can do the writing. Win-win.”

Sometimes the greatest lies are near-truths.

While it’s true that the Church is all one body and we are called to help and support each other, nowhere does that give us license to neglect whatever gifts God has given us. Five talents or one—He decides who gets what, and I have no right to call what I have “not good enough.”

So anyway, I’ve been drawing again, and I’ve made progress. Now here comes the test: I feel God is leading me to draw my series, Silver Foxes in comic format.

Me.

Myself.

My art.

My goodness!

My usual excuses disappear in light of the things I’ve learned over the last few weeks. “I’m not good enough”—no excuse. “I can’t draw it as well as so an so” —no excuse. “No one will read it”—no excuse. “It’ll be a downgrade in quality to what people have seen on my book covers before”—no excuse.  “So and so can do a much better job than I can”—no excuse. “But I’m not good at comics”—no excuse. All I can do is my best to God’s glory. Anything less is not good enough.

No excuses, Mich.

I am scared stiff as I write this. Tears are coming to my eyes as I reflect on the magnitude of the project and the insecurities I will face and am facing right now. But obedience knows no fear—or rather fear and obedience have nothing to do with each other. I may fear, but I am committing myself to being obedient. The project may end up failing, but I will push forward.

To prepare myself, I’ve been working on a short, wordless comic featuring Max and Celeste. It’ll help me familiarize myself with how best to ink and draw backgrounds and such. It’ll also help me learn my photo editing software, and it will be an introduction into toning. (I thought about making it in color because color hides drawing mistakes, but I don’t want to hide my flaws in this case. I want to expose them in order to learn how to fix them).

This will also be an opportunity to revise Silver Foxes Vol 1. Let’s be honest, that one is not my best work. It was at the time, but now . . . I cringe. I haven’t read it since I released it in book format because I don’t want to face it. But once I let myself believe that maybe I can be my own artist after all, so many ideas on how to fix it flowed into my mind.

You probably won’t hear much about this for a year or so . . . (maybe sooner, who knows?), but I plan to keep working on it behind the scenes. In the meantime, pray for me and keep me in your thoughts. I’ll be moving forward with fear and trembling.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

The Spiritual Battle is Upon Us

So I started a devotional with my Bible Study called, The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. I highly recommend it.

I’ve been doing the workbook for one week, and already my prayer life has drastically changed. Not only that, but I’ve seen a marked improvement in living a victorious life. The book is about being aware of the spiritual battle waging around us. We need to be prepared for it by putting on the armor of God—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the gospel shoes, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. But the author starts the study by discussing what she considers to be the lesser-known, underutilized, 7th piece of God’s armor: prayer.

She starts by explaining that we are all in a spiritual battle that manifests itself in the trouble we have in our lives: those broken relationships, those people that get on your last nerve, your financial troubles, the circumstances that get you down . . . all those things. But here’s the thing: those people and circumstances aren’t your real problem. They’re the symptoms of the real issue.

So we have to pray and fight against him and his forces using weapons that work–the Armor of God. Plus, we have to stay strengthened in the Lord and activate the armor with prayer.

The book is teaching us not to give Satan too much credit–God has already given us the victory–but to be aware of him because he’s prowling around looking for someone to devour. I no longer want to give him the opportunity to devour me or the ones I love.

Satan does not like my new resolve. Since I began praying specifically against Satan’s attacks in my life and my writing and the lives of my friends and family, he’s attacked me more and more–from my emotions to my family to my health.

Yeah, I think he realizes I’m not taking it anymore. I haven’t won all the battles, but I am winning more than usual. I’m aware of his attacks, so he’s not going to make me into an easy mark anymore.

And I have God on my side too, so . . . his days are numbered.

Next week we start on the Belt of Truth.

Oh, and one more thing: Really, Atlanta Falcons? Really?! I don’t even want to talk about that!

-:heart: M.R. Anglin.

Obedience in All Things

Okay, I’m going to be real for a second.

First let me say that I am a Christian, and I take my faith pretty seriously. I may not always talk about it online, but I try to make my faith permeate everything I do and write. And I believe that God speaks to us through His Word and through His Spirit and that he has a plan for everyone. And I believe that when He asks us to do something it’s for our own good and so that we can accomplish the things He’s put us on the earth to do. I say all this so you can get some context in what I’m about to tell you.

I am surrounded by so many people who are called by God. He has put a dream in their heart, and I’ve tried to encourage them to accomplish that dream. But at some point or another those people have not taken the steps that are so obvious (to me) that God has told them to do to accomplish their dreams. And it’s so frustrating when they have struggled because I’ve seen what they should do, but they can’t seem to see it. And even when I remind them of what God has told them to do, they seem to forget the next day!

That being said, let me get real. The other day God showed me that I, too, have been disobedient to what He told me to do. Talk about HUMBLING! There are a set of three tasks that He directed me to do, but they’ve fallen by the wayside for various reasons. And the tasks aren’t even that difficult.

But God is gracious to me. And He’s gracious to the people I love who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to.

So I’ve started again.

All I can do is apologize to Him and continue on. And have grace to those around me who are not being obedient. God, help me to show grace because my frustration is born out of love for them . . . because I know if they continue being disobedient they’ll never accomplish their dreams.

Lord, help me be loving in all things.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

Your Beauty/Handsomness Made Complete

One of the great things about reading my Bible is that I get to learn new things, even in verses I’ve read several times before. Ezekiel 16 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It is an allegory–a story that represents something in reality–of God and Israel, but it can also apply to us today. In this allegory, the story is told of an abandoned girl who no one loves. God came through, cleaned her up, dressed her in pretty clothes, put jewelry on her, and gave her good food to eat. She became the most beautiful woman in the world.

Now catch this,

And your fame spread among the nations because of the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Ezekiel 16:14

This time when I went over that verse, I caught something. He said that the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect (“perfect” here can mean “complete”). It wasn’t the stuff that made her beautiful–it only completed her beauty. In other words, the clothes and things enhanced her beauty. Though nobody thought she was worth anything . . . nobody cared about her . . . God saw her beauty, and His enhancements made everyone else recognize it.

So what does this mean for you? It doesn’t matter if your tall or short, big or small. It doesn’t matter if you have crooked teeth or a big nose. God sees your beauty/handsomeness and will give you love, mercy, peace, etc. so that others will see your beauty too.

But there’s another level to it. All the make-up, expensive sports shoes, clothes, glasses, braces, jewelry, haircuts, diets, and anything else you do or get to fit in aren’t what makes you handsome or beautiful, nor do they make you ugly. There is nothing wrong with those things (sometimes they are even necessary for your health), but they can only enhance who you are. Don’t trust in them because they don’t last.

And know that you are fine all on your own.

What God Wants

Some people may think that God wants people who do nothing but lock themselves in a room all day and pray. Or maybe He wants people who are always at church.

While there’s nothing wrong with praying or going to church . . . those things are great . . . they, in themselves, aren’t what God wants. How do I know?

Micah 6:8b NIV

What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

What God wants is a relationship with you. He wants you to walk humbly with Him. He wants to help you in all your troubles. And when you have that relationship with Him, it is easier to act justly and to love mercy.

So what does God want? Ultimately it comes down to a relationship with you. That’s the thing that He wants you to give to Him.

The World Declares God’s Glory

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

I am a firm believer that much of the things we see on earth are just a reflection of what things are like in Heaven. In other words, the things we like . . . beautiful colors, the awesome strength of lightning, the wonders of the universe . . . we like them because they tell our spirits of Heaven. At least, that’s what I think.

But the fact remains that the world is telling us about God. When you look around and see the world, you are seeing God’s fingerprints all over it. Mountains are huge, strong, and beautiful. The sea is both inspiring and powerful.

Now there are those people who believe that the world was created by evolution . . . that all the wonderful works we see are by accident. But when you really look at the world, when you see how intertwined and delicate it all is, and when you really look at evolution’s arguments (not what they say, but at the science behind it), it falls apart.

I offer this as an example: http://www.inspiks.com/creation-tidbits-the-hoatzin-bird/

There is a song by Rebecca St. James that illustrates this concept perfectly.

        The heavens declare You are God
           And the mountains rejoice.
        The oceans cry “Alleluia”
           As we worship You, Lord.
        For this is our song of love.

Here the song and see the video here: Song o Love by Rebecca St. James

(It’s RSJ’s youtube channel. I don’t like to watch videos that aren’t following copyright rules.)

Waiting . . .

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalms 27:14 NIV

I hate waiting. Especially if I’m waiting for something God promised me and that I’m looking forward to. Waiting really sucks.

But it’s also something that God has told us to do. I know waiting isn’t easy, and I find it interesting that God says to “be strong and take heart and wait.” Waiting for something you really want can sap your strength. You can start to doubt if it’s ever going to happen or start thinking that you made a mistake or you’re not good enough. I know that’s what happened in my life.

Satan can use your waiting to beat you down. But that is when you have to take heart and be strong.

I’ve learned that I’m going to wait one way or another: either I’ll be impatient and cause a fuss and/or get depressed . . . or I’ll wait properly and patiently and let God do His thing.

Waiting properly makes life so much easier. Just let God do His thing, and you do yours. He is more than powerful enough to make it happen in His own timing.

Finding Wisdom

James 1:5 NIV “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

It’s amazing how much prayer can clarify things for you. Recently, I was trying to figure out something in my life. I tried and tried and tried, and no matter how I turned it around or asked advice, it didn’t get any clearer. And then in church, the pastor talked about seeking God’s face. I realized, “Gee. I haven’t really spoken to God about this.”

Now, I’ve prayed about it, but that’s not the same as seeking Him. Seeking Him is more focused and more intense than just saying a casual prayer. It’s being serious about asking and waiting (and expecting) an answer. And this time, I also planned to fast about it.

Thank God that He is a gracious, loving God because even though I was determined to seek His face and fast, I completely forgot about fasting and ate my fill that morning. But He still gave me the answer I was looking for–partly (mostly) because He is so kind, and partly (I think) because I was serious about seeking Him for the answer.

Is there a problem you have in your life? Seek God. Really seek Him. If you seek Him, you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).