Sunday, December 20, 2015

You Are God's Masterpiece




You are God's Masterpiece,

Cherished, beloved,

By our God who dwells

In Heaven above;

Upon His heart

You're forever engraved,

He died on the cross

Your soul to save.

All of our sins

He died to forgive;

He rejects no one

Who comes to Him.

He loves each soul

No matter their sins

No past, no shame

Repulses Him.

His love like a river

Flows evermore

And carries us home

To eternity's shores.


"You Are God's Masterpiece"

© 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved



Artist: Bougereau ~Madonna with Christ Child

 Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your only Son Jesus Christ to earth to be born as a helpless baby, to grow up as a man, to suffer and die a cruel death on a Roman cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have eternal life with You.  
If we ever doubt Your love for us may we see our Lord suffering and dying for our sins on the cross. For this is a picture of the depth of Thy love for each one of us. Help us this Christmas season to understand the reason our Lord Jesus Christ came to earth; to meditate on Thy great immeasurable love for us, and may we love and worship You with our whole heart and soul and mind in return for all You have done for us, in Jesus mighty name. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
 
 Danish Artist: Carl Bloch~ Crucifixion of Christ

Unto The Least Of These "You Are God's Masterpiece" © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. /Scripture Picture via Pinterest; Art photos, via Google



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Be Still and Know~Autumn Still Life







"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." ~Psalm 46:10

 "Be Still and Know~Autumn Still Life"

I painted the above painting "Autumn Still Life" several years ago. 
Every fall as soon as the pumpkins and gourds would appear at the farmer’s market or in the grocery stores I loved to go and buy as many as I could just so I could make paintings and sketches of them.
Pumpkins and gourds are symbols to me of the fall. 
As I sat and painted them, it was my way of holding onto the wonder of my favorite season, of holding back time. 
I am a slow painter. I knew that the pumpkins and gourds would deteriorate over time. 
Just as the fall would fade into winter; just as each of us will grow old, our youth vanish, like the green summer leaves turn to autumn gold each year then wither, and eventually fall from the trees altogether.
The original painting for this still life was painted in acrylics on canvas paper. Acrylics dry up fast, yet my pace was more suited to that of the oil painter. 
I would listen to worship music as I painted. Everything in my studio was filled with the presence and peace of the Lord.

God says in His word, “Be still and know that I am God...” (Psalm 46:10)

When creating a still life, artists must be patient, composed and steady while trying to recreate a moment in time in the life of their subject with their paintbrush.

There is a beautiful peace in the process of painting, especially in painting still lifes. For painting a still life forces you to slow down, to stop, to examine, to look, to see what is really before you. 
This is the opposite of the hectic, busy, non-stop work-all-the-time pace of our society. Such a fast pace induces stress, worry, and anxiety. 
But there is great peace in being still. That is God’s message in Psalm 46:10.
"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
And that is silent message in every artist's Still Life.

 
Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You for this Thanksgiving Day. We are so thankful for all of Thy blessings You pour upon us each day.
As the holidays approach and our pace grows more and more hectic, help us to remember to come before You and be still, to be quiet, to know that You are God and that You are in control. 
Assure our hearts that all will be well because You have not left Your throne. Whatever is going on in the world, whatever is challenging me in my world, You are still on Your throne and Your word declares that You will never leave me or forsake me and that You are in Heaven holding all things together by Your mighty word. Thank You for these wonderful promises in Thy word. Lord I love You, in Jesus' mighty name, amen.

*For more information about the Print "Autumn Still Life" and to find out how you can get a copy, visit my Etsy shop
http:www.etsy.com/shop/WingsPublications



Be Still and Know~Autumn Still Life © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Painting Autumn Still Life (Detail)  
© 2008 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Unto The Least Of These © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Heavenly Servant


"Christ Washing Peter's Feet" by Ford Maddox Brown (19th C British Pre-Raphaelite Artist)


The Heavenly Servant

John 13:1, 3-10 (ERV)
It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival.
Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. 
Jesus had always loved the people in the world who were his. 
Now was the time he showed them his love the most...
The Father had given Jesus power over everything. 
Jesus knew this. 
He also knew that he had come from God. 
And he knew that he was going back to God. 
So while they were eating, Jesus stood up and took off his robe. He got a towel and wrapped it around his waist. 
Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. 
He dried their feet with the towel that was wrapped around his waist. 
He came to Simon Peter. 
But Peter said to him, “Lord, you should not wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “You don’t know what I am doing now. 
But later you will understand.” 
Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.” 
Simon Peter said, “Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!” 
Jesus said, “After a person has a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you are clean...” 

In this Scripture passage, Jesus is giving His disciples a powerful visual metaphor of His mission on earth, who He is and why He has come.

The Apostles will not understand the full scope of His mission until after His death on the cross and resurrection though.

"So while they were eating, Jesus stood up and took off his robe." 

Here Jesus is showing that He laid aside His Heavenly Throne temporarily and in the words of St. Paul,  "although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." (Philippians 2:6-7 NASB)

"(Jesus) got a towel and wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. He dried their feet with the towel that was wrapped around his waist."

Jesus, their Master and Lord, performed this humble task of washing His disciples feet, a menial chore that normally a slave or common household laborer would have done, in order to graphically demonstrate His mission from the Father. 

He also wants to remind them that He is their example in all things. Whatever He does, they must likewise do. 
Be humble. Love one another. Serve one another. 
Why? Because He is their Lord and has asked them to, just as He is now on His earthly mission because His Father has asked Him to do it. 
You can never have love without obedience in true worship.

Why does Jesus need to clean the disciple's feet? 
Because they are stained with sin. 
Jesus is showing them that His mission is to cleanse people of their sins. 
What would have been the filthiest part of the body in a time when most people walked everywhere over rugged roads and basically wore sandals? 
Jesus came to cleanse the filthiest part of each of us---our hearts. 

Matthew 15:19-20 (NASB) "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man...” 

Jeremiah 17:9 (NASB) “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? 

Jesus came to cleanse away the stain of sin that each of us are born with and to  make us whole, to redeem us from the curse of death and hell and to give us His own righteousness which we could not ever earn by being good enough on our own. 
Only Jesus Christ can wash our sins away.
Detail: Ford Maddox Brown Artist 19th C British

Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.”

Jesus Christ told Peter that if He did not wash him, he could not be one of His people. 



Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can wash away the stain of our sins. 

Jesus Christ was the spotless Lamb of God sent to bear our sins on the cross as a blood sacrifice. He died in our place so that our sins could be forgiven. 

In Christ's demonstration to His disciples He had wrapped the towel of a slave around Himself and washed their feet as a slave would have. 
We are all slaves of sin apart from salvation in Christ.
Sinless Jesus took off His beautiful Heavenly spotless sinless robe and put on our robes stained with the slavery of sin and bore them on the cross.


"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." ~2 Corinthians 5:21

Hebrews 9:22 "And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

On the third day God raised Christ from the dead. All who receive Jesus into their hearts as their Lord and Savior will be raised from the dead and given eternal life with Christ in Paradise.

John 11:25-26 (NASB) "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” 

By washing their feet, Jesus wanted to leave His disciples with a powerful visual reminder of what His earthly mission was all about.
His humble, selfless act still speaks to us today about our need for His cleansing from our sins.
It tells us to follow His example of obedience and love to His Father and to serve one another humbly out of our love, obedience and worship to Him.

John 3:16-17 (NASB) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 



Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Thy only Son to cleanse us from our sins. 
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying aside Your Heavenly Throne for a season so that You could suffer & bear our sins on the cross & die in our place; 
Thank You Holy Spirit for making Thy truth known to our hearts,
We love You, Lord,  in Jesus' name, amen. 



"The Heavenly Servant" © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. //Bible Illustration by Ford Maddox Brown, 19th century British Pr-Raphaelite Painter, //Photo of Jesus holding Lamb via Pinterest//Scripture Quotations (NASB) New American Standard Bible, © 1995 The Lockman Foundation All Rights Reserved.// (ERV) © 2006 World Bible Translation Center All Rights Reserved. /"Nothing But The Blood" Music Video & Vocals © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Jesus The Light Of Life



Jesus The Light Of Life

The Bible opens with this beautiful account of the creation:
 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light." ~ (Genesis 1:1-3)

The soul apart from Christ is very much like that place at the dawn of creation when the "earth was without form and void and darkness hovered over the face of the deep."  
For without Christ "the light of the world" we walk in darkness. The bible says that Jesus was  "the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man." (John 1:9)




The Gospel of John opens much like the book of Genesis:
John 1:1,3-5
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in *darkness; and the darkness *comprehended it not.

Jesus Christ is not only our Creator, He is the Light that moves upon our spirit that brings the Eternal Day into our hearts when we receive Him as our Savior.
When Jesus Christ comes into our hearts, His light shines into the formless darkness of our souls, and His grace turns our chaos into order, our confusion into peace.
When Jesus comes into our hearts, His light not only illuminates our darkness but His word promises that all the forces of darkness shall not be able to overcome His light within us as we abide in Him.

Scripture says that the darkness cannot comprehend Christ's light.
The word comprehend as defined by the Strong's Bible Dictionary can be interpreted in several ways:

The darkness does not eagerly receive Christ or the things of God.
The darkness cannot possess Christ or those who have His light abiding in their hearts.
The darkness cannot perceive, comprehend, or understand Christ or the things of God.
The darkness cannot ever overcome Christ, His Church, and all those who are abiding in Christ's light.



Prayer
Heavenly Father, bring the light of Christ to all who are in darkness today. If any are experiencing confusion, fill them with Thy peace for Thy word says that "God is not the author of confusion but of peace..." (1 Corinthians 14:33)
Thy word promises that "...the Lord blesses His people with peace." ~ (Psalm 29:11)
Lord, thank You for Being our Light, our Salvation, and our Peace, in Jesus' name, amen.



2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV) 
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."
_________________________________________________________________

DEFINITIONS
*comprehended  (Strong's Bible Dictionary )
καταλαμβάνω kat-al-am-ban'-o

Definition: to take eagerly, i.e. seize, possess, etc. (literally or figuratively)
Usage: :--apprehend, attain, come upon, comprehend, find, obtain, perceive, (over-)take.

*Darkness: (Thayer Bible Dictionary)
skotia (transliteration)
Definition: Metaphorically used of ignorance of divine things, and its associated wickedness, and the resultant misery in hell.



Unto The Least of These "Jesus Light of Life" © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Quotations King James Version Bible, New International Version Bible, New American Standard Version Bible: Definitions: Strong's Bible Dictionary, Thayer Bible Dictionary: Scripture Pictures Created via You Version Bible App

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wait On The Lord








My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him." ~Psalm 62:5 

The Strong's Bible Dictionary defines the word that the Psalmist uses for "wait" in this passage as "to be dumb, to be astonished, to stop, to hold your peace, keep silent, be still, tarry, be cut off..."

Such a definition carries several implications. 
Meditate for a moment on what it means to "be dumb..mute, silent & hold your peace before the Lord. 
Have we ever just worshiped the Lord in silent prayer; cut ourselves off from every distraction so that we can completely focus on listening to the Holy Spirit? 
This is what the Psalmist is saying. 
"For my expectation is from God..."
The word expectation means "hope, outcome, the thing that I long for."
We will not find our hope in our work, mobile devices, on the Internet, social media, or any of a number of other things that distract our hearts away from God. 
We must go into our prayer closet and get alone with Jesus Christ and worship. 
In that quiet place our Lord will whisper His truth to our hearts.  Our love and knowledge of Him will grow as we practice waiting on Him in the silence of the holy place of our hearts. 
For He is our heart's truest desire and we will find all of our deepest longings fulfilled in Him.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, draw us closer to Your holy heart and help us learn to be still before You in prayer as we worship You; to wait on You, to listen for Thy still, small voice. We love You, in Jesus' name, amen.


Unto The Least of These "Wait On The Lord" © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Bible Verse King James Version

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Prayer For Wisdom



"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
~Proverbs 9:10 

PRAYER

Dear Father God, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, please help us to develop a solid trust in You and make us intelligent and discerning in knowing You personally, our eyes focused and clear, so that we can know and understand your will for us and how You want us to accomplish it. Give us courage and faithful perseverance to follow through on all that You ask us to do for You. May You fill our hearts with more love for You each day and draw us ever closer to Your holy heart, in Jesus' mighty name we ask, amen.


Unto The Least Of These: Prayer For Wisdom © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Verse King James Bible


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Houses Built On Sand


Matthew 7:24-27
 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, 
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  
and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; 
and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, 
will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 
 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; 
and it fell. And great was its fall.”


HOUSES BUILT ON SAND

© 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Houses built upon the sand
Though castles grand they be
Will someday crumble to the ground
And wash into the sea.
No matter if their walls are gilt
With all the finest gold
Nor if their floors are marble,
The finest that is sold.

For all the houses built on sand
Cannot withstand the tide
That swallows all upon its shores~
Nothing on it abides
Except the million grains of sand
That form the boundaries
Of the ever restless waves
That dance upon the sea.

Only those who build their house
Upon the Rock of Christ
Will withstand the constant tides
Throughout the Sea of Life.
For the ever flowing tides
Are not as strong as He
Who controls the wind and waves
And calms the surging sea.

Jesus said that those who build
Their house upon His word
Were founding it upon a Rock
That ever would endure.

Lord Jesus, help me build my house
Upon Thy holy word,
Hold me through the Sea of Life
In You, my heart secure,
In Jesus' name,
Amen.


Prayer 
Heavenly Father, please forgive us for all the times when we have listened to Thy word 
and have not obeyed. 
Search our hearts, oh Lord. 
Reveal to us where we have been blind and deaf to Thy Holy Spirit's promptings within us. Reveal to us all the ways where we have grieved Thy heart in not loving and forgiving others as You have commanded us. 
For in disobeying You we have built our houses on sand. Thank You that Thy word declares that"there is forgiveness with Thee that thou mayest be feared." 
We repent now of all disobedience to Thy revealed will and ask forgiveness for being hearers and not doers of Thy holy word,  
in Jesus' holy name.
Thank You, Lord, we love You, Amen. 



*The Illustration "Building Sandcastles" by Suzanne Davis Harden is available as an 8" x 10" Inch Triple matted  print at Wings Publications on Etsy: Visit Suzanne's Etsy Shop at this link for more  information:Wings Publications

 
Houses Built On Sand Prayer Poem  © Suzanne Davis Harden & *Illustration "Building Sandcastles" © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Unto The Least Of These. Scripture Pictures courtesy You-Version Online Bible, NKJV Bible Translation © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
 
 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rejoice In The Lord Always


"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice." Philippians 4:4

St. Paul wrote those words even though he had a terrible affliction of some sort he called "a thorn in his flesh." 

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 he wrote: "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Paul was beaten, stoned, persecuted, imprisoned, and suffered much abuse for his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet he wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always..."
What does that word "rejoice" mean? 
The Strong's Bible Dictionary defines it:
χαίρω khah'-ee-ro
Definition: to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well
Usage:  be glad, God speed, greeting joy(- fully), rejoice.

Paul is saying, "Don't despair! Don't be discouraged! Instead, choose to be happy, choose to rejoice. To rejoice in spite of our discouragements, trials, and sufferings is a choice we can make. 

The apostle James told us to rejoice despite our circumstances. 
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Instead of being discouraged by our challenges, we need to focus on our blessings. There is always something we can be thankful for. 
It is good to keep in mind that no matter how much we are suffering, there is always someone somewhere who is suffering far more than we are, and we should pray for that person. 

The prophet Jeremiah saw terrible tragedy all around him. Yet he wrote in Lamentations 3:22-23: 
"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

Gratitude is a wonderful antidote for discouragement and will bring the blessing of joy into our hearts. 
Starting today may it be our choice to "Rejoice in the Lord always!"

Prayer

Heavenly Father, may You help us choose to rejoice always in You and to be grateful for all the ways You have blessed us and been so faithful to us throughout our lives. We love You, in Jesus' name, amen.

"Rejoice in The Lord Always"© 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Illustration © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.  Scripture References King James Bible, Strong's Bible Dictionary, NIV Bible Translation © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All Rights Reserved. Unto The Least of These © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Brief Sojourn




Recently, a friend told me the sad news that she'd had a death in her family. Yesterday my son called to ask for prayer and told me that his precious wife, our daughter-in-law, had been hit head on by another vehicle as she was pulling out of their garage on her way to work. 
Miraculously, she sustained only minor injuries, but her car was totaled and she could have been killed.

I praise our merciful God for sparing her life!
Our sojourn on this earth is so brief. Moses wrote in Psalm 90:10, 12: 
"Our days may come to seventy years,or eighty, if our strength endures;
Lord, Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Life is also so random. Anything can happen at any time any day. But when you know and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ you have full assurance of your eternal dwelling place. You know that His word promises He will never forsake those who have put their hope in Him. All those who have committed their lives to Christ are sealed with the living Spirit of Christ. They are eternally inseperable.

Copyrighted//Source: Pinterest

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of my favorite Bible teachers. A reformed Baptist preacher, he lived and preached in England during the 19th century. He wrote many sermons, devotionals and inspirational books. 
The following excerpt is from his devotional "Morning and Evening." May it bless and comfort you as much as it did me.

Morning, June 29
"Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
1 Thessalonians 4:14

Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. 
"Today shalt thou be with me in paradise," is the whisper of Christ to every dying
saint. 
They "sleep in Jesus," but their souls are before the throne of God, 
praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to him
who washed them from their sins in his blood.
The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. 
But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is "rest,"
and that is the thought which the Spirit of God would convey to us. 
Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. 

Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, 
that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. 
The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child 
when it slumbers on its mother's breast. 
Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they rest from their labours, 
and their works do follow them. Their quiet repose shall never be broken…”
__________________________________________________________________________________

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, please bless and encourage all those who have suffered the loss of loved ones or friends this week, or who will soon face such grief. Thy word says You are close to the brokenhearted and that You bind up their wounds. Fill their souls with rivers of Thy love, grace, peace and hope; give them faith to know that their loved ones are safe with You. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen. 




Excerpt From: Charles H. Spurgeon. “Morning and Evening: Daily Bible Readings for Every Day of the Year.”
Unto The Least Of These © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Interview With Christian Poet Liana Wendy Howarth





Liana Wendy Howarth

"Upon a tabletop in heavenly realm Your Savior lays gifts,

waits to welcome you home

And each bears a name amidst love, forgiveness

a name, a name that belongs to you only...

Priceless

a pearl...a pearl...of your very, very own... "

~Liana Wendy Howarth


Interview With Christian Poet 
Liana Wendy Howarth

Liana Wendy Howarth is an extremely gifted contemporary songwriter and poet. The author of two books of poetry, she writes for both children as well as adults.

For her song "When Hurt Can Hurt No More," The Song of the Year songwriting contest awarded Liana the "Suggested Artist" placement in their song contest.

Song of the Year receives entries from all over the world and only the top songwriters receive a Suggested Artist placement in the songwriting competition.

Liana maintains a popular poetry blog called Poetry Cottage which she updates almost daily with a brand new poem at poetrycottage.wordpress.com.



I was thrilled when Liana agreed to be interviewed on my blog, sharing her life and writing process in her own words.


 
Liana as a young child



 Where are you from?

Liana: I was born in Exeter, Devon, England and have been living in Australia since 1970.



How long have you been writing poetry?

Liana:  I have been writing for 16 years.



 What influenced your writing?

Liana: The love of children's picture books to begin with, which led to inspirational writing over the years.
 

Liana at age 25

 Who were your favorite authors to read as a child that shape your writing today?
Liana: I cannot really place any particular author. I don't remember books playing a big role in my life when I was younger.



  How many books have you written?

Liana: I've written two.

Liana's First Book of Poetry




 What is your first book?

Liana: My e-book, Fragrance from the Spring.





  What prompted you to become a writer & to publish your writing?
Liana: To be honest, I cannot remember how it all started. It just happened. I now know that it was and is of the Lord and I give Him all the glory. I always dreamed of being the author of a hardcover and this is now a reality.


How do you publish your books?
Liana: At present, through WestBow Press, a Christian self-publishing company in the US.


Sunrays and Lily Smiles, Liana's newest book of Poetry


 What is your newest book?

Liana: Sunrays and Lily Smiles which comes in e-book, softcover and hardcover formats.





 What inspires you most?

Liana: The gift of life. The beauty of nature. The sweet melodies of a songbird. A child's laughter. A purring kitten. Tears. Most of all, the love of God.



 Where do you get your inspiration from?

Liana: Often during prayer time I will be given the first line, particularly for my song lyrics and the verses just flow from there. I can look at a rose. The depth of its splendor deserves to be shared with those who cannot witness its glory.



 Your book Sunrays and Lily Smiles is a treasury of poems for children and adults. Would you ever consider writing a book of poems just for children?

Liana: Most definitely. Before the inspirational writing commenced I tried to publish a book just for children; but the timing wasn't right. Currently, I have a series for young children for which I am presently seeking a publisher.







What are in the contents of Sunrays and Lily Smiles?

Liana: Within the covers you'll find most of my work from way back in the beginning up until the end of last year. Inspirational and children's poetry, song lyrics, greeting card insert suggestion and words of encouragement plus a children's short story. It contains all of my first book plus much, much more.



 How did you choose that name?

Liana: The name is a combination of the following :-

Sun (my love for Jesus, (God's Son), rays (my father Raymond), and Lily (in memory of my beautiful mother Lilian and ly (Lee) short for my name), Smiles (in memory of my precious brother Miles). My childhood family.



 What are your hobbies?

Liana: My hobbies have been put on hold for a few years due to ill health; but I love to read, and sewing, patchwork, baking and playing piano have all had a special place in my life. Line dancing currently has my attention. I just need the energy to do it :-). Most of all I love the freedom of writing, being able to pour one's emotions out like a beautiful healing fragrance.



What do you do to market your books?

Liana: As far as promotion goes I have shared on Twitter, Facebook and my blog www.poetrycottage.wordpress.com and on my website www.poetrycottage.com.



Do you find it difficult to market your books as an independent author?

Liana: I must admit I do find it difficult re marketing as the expense is quite high for the packages that are available. Money never was the object for publication. I just wanted to share what I had been given.





 What advice would you give to aspiring authors and poets who want to publish their work and who have been motivated and inspired by your example of someone who has written and published two books of original poetry and maintains an inspirational blog that encourages people all over the world?

Liana: Be honest with yourself. Share from the depths of your heart to the level that you are comfortable with. 
If something you publish eg online has you worried, then maybe it's not meant to be shared or it's just not the right time. Try not to be discouraged. 
There are days where the sun shines vibrantly on one's work and others where the dark clouds are all too threatening. 
Don't compare yourself with others. You are unique and gifted with your very own style. 
Finally never give up. I was turned down by many when originally trying to publish a book of children's poetry. 
Everything is for a reason and all in God's time.





How might people contact you who are interested in getting in touch with you?

Liana: Anyone wanting to contact me can do so through my email poetrycottage@gmail.com.



 Thank you so much, Liana, for sharing your inspiration with us! Your life and your work are a beautiful blessing on this earth.


Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us through Your precious daughter Liana and her beautiful gift of poetry. May You continue to bless and inspire her to write beautiful poems and songs that bless and encourage others for the glory and honor of the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, in His name we pray, amen.




There's A Hidden Name In Every Thorn

© Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved.

"Every time we hurt someone

Every time we turn away

Every time we distance ourselves

Causes more anguish...

We have an urgent need to pray

Every cruel, silent thought

And each little unseen smirk

Each little share in 'innocent' gossip

Causes pain in the everlasting Father's work

And we are all at some time guilty

And we have all caused others to mourn

So look very closely at the rose that presents

For there's a hidden name in every thorn."

~Liana Wendy Howarth 


Unto The Least of These: An Interview with Christian Poet Liana Wendy Howarth © 2015 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Poems quoted from Sunrays and Lily Smiles © 2014 Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved. Photos © 2015 Liana Wendy Howarth All Rights Reserved.