"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bad Sheep Time – Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

 

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I love baseball and so do the Bad Boys of Wool. In my season of crazy busy I needed a laugh in a big way and Lambo and Chop pitched in. Hopefully, the boys won’t strike out on this one!
Blessing, Jay

bad sheep no. 38

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Monday, April 25, 2011

I Am Midnight - Poetry

 

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This poem is part of The Warrior Poet Circle hosted by blogger, fellow warrior poet and friend Jason at Endless Impact. Read more great poems over there! The topic is Midnight.

I wrote this early this AM…very early AM….

Midnight

I am midnight
I hold the cuff of your sleeve
as you peer into future places
Neither dark or light
fear or courage
simply wondering
if sleep will come first
or the morning

Jay Cookingham 4-26-2011

 

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Sketchy Reflection 3

 

It’s been fun rediscovering a long dormant part of the gift God gave me…and it also has been ministering to my spirit. I pray that these few rough sketches have been a blessing to you all as well.

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“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

Man of Sorrows

Man of Sorrows
Felt for me
Man of Sorrows
Gave for me

Man of Sorrows
Bled for me
Man of Sorrows
Hung for me

Man of Sorrows
Went for me
Man of Sorrows
Rose for me

Jay Cookingham © 2011

 

Have a blessed Easter everyone! – Jay

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sketchy Reflection 2

 

Today was a stressful one at work but near the end of the day I managed to get alone and run some diagnostics on a computer in another department. While the tests ran I did another sketch while I reflected on Jesus and His sacrifice.

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While I was still a sinner He died for me…for He so loved…He gave. I walk in newness of life…all because of a man of sorrows.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Sketchy Reflection


Tonight while uploading a cover design to my publisher I started sketching on a scrap of paper…and reflecting…

jesus copy

What manner of love…while we were still sinners…sacrifice…redemption…all these powerful expressions of His love and more. He felt and He gave for me…and for you.

Blessings, Jay

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stirred Up



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Something really powerful happened to me recently, something that has changed the way I see myself. First a little back-story…I apologize for the length.

Work has been insane; I’m entrenched in server migrations, web design, book design and my everyday IT duties. Late hours and countless meetings suck the creativity right out of me on a daily basis and resentment crept in like a fog over my spirit. I was a mess inside…but I kept on like a good solider.

Since the beginning of 2011 I felt like Father God was going to release me into my dream (read Stepping Out here) but now, almost 4 months later I am more entrenched at work than ever. The past few weeks I have been in and out of funky town (put a song in your head didn’t I?), which was most unpleasant. I discovered on one of these trips that I had made a huge agreement with the enemy.

Somehow I decided that God was protecting me from…me. He knew that I would fail as a speaker/author/ministry guy so He was keeping me SAFE at my job. God knew that I didn’t have what it takes, so He was giving me what I could handle…and I bought this big time! I walked around with this agreement for weeks and it was slowly undoing me.

One day last week God asked me to read Ezra…

“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, (2) Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Ezra 1:1-2

After reading these Scriptures God asked me an interesting question….

God asked me, “Jay, what are you building”?

Honestly, I didn’t know any more so I just closed the Bible and decided to ponder that question for a while. It didn’t take long for God to give me direction and correction.

I was clearing out some old paperwork and came across a letter that my wife wrote to honor me on one of my birthdays, I won’t bore you with the whole letter but there was this one section that grabbed me by the throat.

“Some men build massive skyscrapers, awesome bridges, complex computers, things which can be destroyed. My man builds lives.”

I realized that I had forgotten what God has called me to, so I asked God why did I believe a lie? Here comes the correction part.

“You have been so busy asking your own question, “When are you going to let me do what I want?” to hear the truth about yourself.”

Ouch…but that gentle rebuked stirred up in my spirit and I feel the charge again of my Father to build lives. It is not a matter of getting what I want; it’s a matter of obeying the call of the Father. I broke the agreement I made with the enemy and I see clearer now than I have in months.

“God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts.”
- John Newton

“When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.” Psalm 119:59 (The Message)

What about you, have you allowed agreements with lesser things to rob you? What is the Father charging you to build? I would love to hear your thoughts and to pray for you.

Blessings, Jay

 

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bad Sheep Time – Birthday Wisdom

 

The Bad Boys came out for a special birthday greeting for my good friend Joe Cohen. Happy Birthday Joe!

badsheep bday for joe 

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Father Ache


It’s late and I hope this makes sense, but it’s heavy on my heart so I’m sharing these thoughts that ran through my spirit today….Jay

us2010n The father who would taste the essence of his fatherhood must turn back from the plane of his experience, take with him the fruits of his journey and begin again beside his child, marching step by step over the same old road.  ~Angelo Patri

 

It’s a deep feeling, one that stays with you, not necessary a pain but it does hurt a bit. The make up of this feeling includes dreams, hopes, plans, and concerns. It tends to keeps me up at times (OK, a lot of times) and distracts me in other ways I can’t really explain.

I ache for my children

My hope for them on their journey with Christ is far greater than I exercise for myself. I see greater potential, giftedness and ability in each one of them…they have been blessed by the Father. This small nation of seven is made up of terrific and good kids, each with a healthy relationship with Christ. Yet, they have struggle at times with their faith and they have failed in some areas of their life because of those struggles.

In each of their struggles and in every success there is a tug on my daddy’s heart. My prayers cover both so that neither failure nor success dominates their heart, only their love for Him. This ache is a passion for them to fulfill the purposes that the Father has for them, to stay the course and remain faithful. I don’t consider this ache a bad thing at all, for it drives me to my knees. Because of those prayers (and God’s faithfulness) I have begun to see the fruit of the Scripture below.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

What about you…do you ache for your kids? In what way?

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Artist in the Shadow of God - Repost


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This is a repost from last November and since I'm in a bit of a blue funk this was a encouraging reminder for me this morning. When the creative juices get a bit dry it's good to remember where our gifts come from...His anointing and His impartation. I pray it encourages you today. - Jay

“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.”  ~ George Kneller

Since I was about seven years old, I have always found some area for my talents to be used. I have painted murals, designed every thing from T-shirts to logos, written studies and sang in just about every choir that you can imagine. I even did a one-man play of the Prodigal son story (that was a blast). My creativity grew every year but not the opportunities…my main talents are in the realm of graphic design, writing and teaching…not the usual suspects for the worship part of the Sunday gathering.

Yet, when we create, when we explore our gifts and push the envelope of who we are as artist I believe (are you ready for this?) we are worshipping. With all my heart I believe the Father’s heart is made glad when we dive into the fullness of creativity…that He has deposited into us! The best part may just be the “canvas” we paint on doesn’t have to be used just on Sunday to be a blessing to the church. Of course I’m talking about the Church with a cap “C”.

I’ve been studying this artist guy found in the OT…Bezaleel (His name means “in the shadow of God”). The Word says this about him.

"I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship. Exodus 31:3

Bezaleel was charged with designing the Ark and for the Tabernacle and it blessed the heart of the Father and all of Israel…that’s a major deal right there. We are all artist in the shadow of God…anointed with the same Spirit and we can worship Him with what we create.

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” — Henry Ward Beecher

What are you dipping your brush into today? Do you feel inspired by a Holy God?
Love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bad Sheep Time – When Somebunny Loves You

 

art for store

 

Well you may have noticed that Soulfari has been a little quiet for a few days but no more! What better way to break the silence than the Bad Boys of Wool! Have a great weekend everybody!

 

bad sheep no 37

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