Pollyanna Art
Images & Insights On the God Inspired Artful Life… Featuring Cheri Douglas & Her Artful Friends

Saving Money With Artful Gifts of Love this Christmas!

     Posted on December 3rd, 2015 by Cheri
My most Artful gift from @NixiNoxo

My most Artful gift from @NixiNoxo

“The gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” 2Cor 8:12

Lots of people are nervous about Christmas coming and not having money this year because of lost business income, lost jobs, or lowered paychecks. Maybe this can be an opportunity for us to embrace the Artful Life and see what blessings God planted in our hearts, that we can give away without spending much or any money.

You don’t have to consider yourself an “artist” in a worldly sense, in order to live out the Artful Life. If you can find what God placed in your heart of beauty and joy to give away, you will be one of His most incredible artists and everyone around you will be blessed.

My daughter gave me the ultimate Artful gift last year. I’m sharing it here to give you an idea. I think I’ll share more ideas for an Artful Christmas in the days ahead. Nicki has to reach into her Artful self to find ideas to bless everyone, because she has 5 children. Even with good jobs, 5 Children in Christian school can make you feel like a pauper, by the worldly commercial standards.

But the world of commerce can’t begin to touch the beauty of this gift. She couldn’t have bought it anywhere at any price. And to me it is priceless!!! Bingo! That is God’s view of Fine Art!

I have 9 grandchildren and you see each one’s silhouette arranged by age in this framed plaque. Below the cut out silhouettes are written sentiments about us, as grandparents, decorated with scrapbooking stickers. Isn’t this beautiful? Isn’t it an incredible gift? She didn’t just include her own children either. She knew it would mean much more to us if she went to the trouble, of running around getting all of our grandchildren’s silhouettes. Now this is what I call Pollyanna Art! It is uplifting and inspiring every time I look at it. It is straight from the heart of God to us…via our daughter!

Pray for inspirations, or use other people’s ideas to bless your family and friends this Christmas. I’ll give you more ideas here, but this is one of my favorites. You would be amazed at the supplies and potential gifts you have all around you too. Most of us have STUFF! Don’t worry about not being able to go get more stuff!! You and God together have all the stuff you need. And what your family and friends really need is to know how much you love and care for them.

Have an Artful Christmas with your unique ideas and God’s inspirations. Leave a comment and let us all know what inspirations you come up with!!

Live the Pollyanna Artful Life and Be Blessed!!

A Parade of Lovely Ladies!!

     Posted on May 28th, 2015 by Cheri

This is my favorite in my series of Lovely Lady paintings.

Miss Daisy – Lovely Lady Painting by Cheri Douglas

 

#WorldWideBaptismMay24th …A Beautiful thing!!

     Posted on May 20th, 2015 by Cheri

baptismTherefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19

Jesus instructed the disciples to go make disciples, baptizing them. He felt so strongly about this that he even used himself as an example, offering himself for baptism by John the Baptist.

Baptism is our way of making our commitment to Christ public. WE join Christ in His burial as we are submerged under the water and become resurrected with Him as we come up transformed into his likeness.

Some believe that the Holy Spirit fills us at the same time. So we have chosen The Day of Pentecost to bring attention to the practice of Baptism. Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit came to earth and filled the disciples and thousands more, forming the foundation of the Church of Christ in the world.

baptism-of-christ

Join us in making a public statement this year with                                                                                                                                                               #WorldWideBaptismMay24th.  Here’s HOW!

  1. Get a team of folks together to be baptized. Choose already baptized disciples/followers of Jesus to do the baptizing.
  2.  Take the team to a river, lake, pool, or any tub of water.
  3.  Have them each tell you how they know Jesus and why they want to be baptized into a life of following Him and turn from sinful habits with His help.
  4. Say a prayer dedicating the baptism as the person’s public commitment & the beginning of their healthy and lifelong walk in service to the Lord Jesus for His glory.
  5.  Dunk them 1 by 1 in the water repeating instructions Jesus gave us in Matthew 28, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
  6. Have a camera person taking pictures of the Baptism.
  7. Begin uploading your baptism pictures or videos to Twitter at 2pmPDT/5pmEDT on May24th with the hashtag #WorldWideBaptismMay24th
  8. If you have pictures of baptisms that you or your church have conducted on other days, please upload them in the same way on the same day.
  9. Our vision is to have #WorldWideBaptismMay24 to trend on Twitter that day, showing the world of the powerful faith in followers around the world.

We are so hopeful that you and your friends and neighbors from every corner of the world will join us in baptism. Even if you have been baptized before, you can celebrate you walk with the Lord by a re-commitment! We will retweet your precious pictures to honor you and your public commitment and our Lord and the day He sent His Holy Spirit to every believer.

IMPORTANT – If time constraints make our timeframes impossible for your Twitter postings, just send your pictures anytime  before May 24th  2pmPacificDaylightTime to @CheriDouglas. I will tweet them for you into the Twitter trending stream on May 24th.

May God get the Glory this day!!! 

baptism-1

Happy PollyannaArt New Year!

     Posted on January 12th, 2014 by Cheri

PollyAnnaArt logo

Tweeting God’s Love… Daily Chat Schedule

     Posted on January 4th, 2013 by Cheri





Twas the Night Before Christmas in Bethlehem Town © …By Cheri Douglas

     Posted on December 25th, 2012 by Cheri

‘Twas the night before Christmas in Bethlehem town.

The people were coming from all around.

To register for the census was order of all.

They traveled miles by foot to fulfill that call.

 

Joseph led Mary on their donkey for miles.

Her journey was tiring, as she was heavy with child.

Relieved to arrive and get a room for the night,

Saddened to find there were no rooms in sight.

 

The Inn Keeper could see Mary needed some rest

But he had NO ROOM IN THE INN, for one single guest.

He scratched on his head and hastened to say,

“You could use my manger, it’s full of clean hay”.

 

So the barn and the animals were most honored that night,

The barn turned into a palace for God’s most glorious sight!

The time came to Mary for God’s son to be born,

The manger and animals His presence adorned!

 

The brightest star ever seen arose before morn,

A golden path lit where the Christ child was born.

There in His humble palace, the King lay on straw of spun gold.

He made true the predictions from prophets of old.

 

Animals and people all surrounded the manger,

As God, himself, watched and kept him from danger.

From Magi’s to shepherds, the bright star was seen,

And they traveled with hope to find the one who redeemed.

 

In the beauty, warmth and glow…to their knees they each dropped.

They worshiped God’s Son, the one through whom sin would be stopped.

No matter how good, no one could ever earn God’s Love.

It was the gift Jesus gave us from Heaven above!

 

Herod was jealous and plotted the Christ Child’s murder

But God spoke to Joseph and he save the young King.

And to this day this child from above,

saves the whole world form sin and fills us with love.

 

So at Christmas this year, receive the gift of God’s Grace,

That Jesus so freely gave to the whole human race.

No one’s too small, too bad, or too troubled

to find His protection, truth & love  as we’re humble.

 

Just tell Him today that now is your time.

Just love Him and trust Him, no standing in line.

He’ll meet you right there this very minute,

And the transforming touch & Gods love will be in it.

Merry Christmas from …#GodsLoveChats #GodsPrayerRoom & #CollegeBibleChat

     Posted on December 20th, 2012 by Cheri

These chat events will be available to you and your family throughout the Christmas holidays. We pray you enjoy a time of warm memories, health and love as you bask in the gift of grace brought by God’s Son, Jesus.


Saturday, December 22nd  5pmPST/8pmEST  The  Night Before Christmas

Share this classic as it is tweeted in full.

Sunday, December 23rd 7:30amPST/10:30amEST Favorite Christmas Verses Share

Join Cheri and tweet your favorite Christmas Bible verses!

Monday, December 24th  8pmPST/11pmEST 

The Night Before Christmas in Bethlehem Town –by Cheri Douglas

Enjoy the tweeting of the very first night before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25th 7pmPST/10pmEST  Christmas Caroling Tweet-In

Share in tweeting lyrics or actual performances of your favorite Christmas Carols with our fun leadership team.

Wednesday, December 26th 7pmPST/10pmEST  After Christmas Gift Exchange

Exchange tweets about your gifts…what did you get…give…exchange? & What was the craziest gift of all?

What was the greatest gift of kindness?

 

All chats will be at #GodsLoveChats. Use that tag at the end of your tweets to be seen. Click on it to get the Chat timeline.

Tweet from TweetChat.com and you only have to add the hashtag once at the top. It will continue to be added automatically.

Taking a Bully Out…A Christian Mother’s Dilemma

     Posted on May 2nd, 2012 by Cheri

My son Matt was the sweetest kid. He was a gentle soul who was kind to everyone and spent time in heady pursuits that fascinated him.  It wasn’t at all unusual to walk into his room and find him reading an Encyclopedia…long before the internet was available. He discovered a whole world came to life in those books. When he wasn’t reading, he was playing video games. Developing people skills didn’t occur to him, or to me, until a local bully began to target him after school.

 

At 9 years old, Matt was larger than most kids, a tall and lanky boy. But he was easily intimidated by obnoxious behavior, because he had no tendencies or skills in that direction. So when I started to notice he was especially quiet and troubled, it took a while to get him to tell me of this kid, Michael, who was harassing him and calling him names after school.  I was so appalled that someone would do that to my son!

 

I search my soul and prayed for what a wise Christian mother could do. I had raised him to “not hit” people, and now I wanted to tell him to punch the kid out!! I could go to the parents or principal, but that might make the situation worse when no adults were around. I wanted my son to learn something, but I wasn’t up for ,”just turn the other cheek”.  This was my first born!… My precious flesh of my flesh! Surely the Lord didn’t want him to be abused??

 

While I was still stuck for an answer, Matt came home the next afternoon crying and dirty. This time it was physical, Michael had knocked him off his bike and then threw his books in the dirt in front of a group of laughing jeering onlookers. I am sure what I did next came directly from the Lord, because I had no way of knowing how well it was going to work. And, it was anything but the normal reaction.

 

I looked at Matt and said, ”OK. If we want someone to be a friend, we have to make him a friend. Let’s go invite Michael to go ice-skating with us! Matt looked at me with a quizzical expression and said, ”Uh,OK”. So, we dropped everything, grabbed his sister and ice skates and jumped in the car. We had been ice skating at a local rink a lot and Matt and his sister had gotten to be pretty good little skaters. However, in Sacramento, where it rarely freezes, there are not a lot of ice skaters.

 

Matt directed me to Michaels house and when we pulled up he was playing in his driveway. He took one look at me pulling up to his house and, “OH @*##! “ expletives were on his face, as he dropped everything and ran in the house. In just seconds, his mother was coming out into the driveway with Michael hiding behind her for cover. A stiff .”Hello”, from her told me she had experienced parents coming over to talk with her before.

 

Matt and I got out of the car and walked up to her, I smiled and introduced myself. Then I said, Michael and Matt are in the same class and Matt would like to get to know him better and wondered if he could go ice skating with us. Michael quickly interjected that he couldn’t skate. I quickly assured him that Matt would be happy to help him. By this time a big grin had broken across Matt’s face and he nodded affirmative that he would “LOVE” to help Michael skate. To that Michael’s Mom shifted from pure shock to a slight smile herself.  She approved and said Michael would enjoy that. So the leery Michael got into the car of the one he had been abusing just 2 hours earlier.

 

When we got to the rink and got skates on everyone I witnessed the incredible power shift as Michael stepped onto the ice looking like a leggy baby colt trying to take it’d first steps. He wavered and fell all over the place hanging onto Matt for dear life. Every now and then he would break away as though he knew what he was doing, only to fall and have Matt picking him up again.  It was perfect! I felt brilliant, but truth be told I didn’t have a clue where I got this idea, except for the gentle whispered answer from the Lord form a brokenhearted mother’s prayer.

 

We had pizza on the way home. That was the last day Matt was ever bullied by Michael. As it turns out, Matt was the only kid who had ever befriended Michael. They weren’t to become close. But Michael had a new-found respect for Matt, and Matt a new confidence in himself.

 

As I saw that confidence grow, I switched from ice-skating lessons to karate. Matt never did fight anyone, but he became the scariest dude around for how fast he could jump into the karate stance and scream the “watch out” yell at the top of his lungs. He loved the shock value and the drama. We often laugh that the other bullies just weren’t sure they wanted to take on this ice-skating screamer. They couldn’t predict what he might do! He might be crazy!

 

I don’t tell this story because I think this is just what everyone should do to stop a bully.  But I do believe God will guide prayerful mothers to have the wisdom when needed to find the right solution and do some ministry at the same time. Michael was shot to death at about 19 in a firefight with police. I am happy we have this memory of him and consciences that the Lord can bless.

Thank God for the Artful Life

     Posted on April 21st, 2012 by Cheri

Hello! Welcome to the first written post of Pollyanna Art. This is not just a gallery of art, though it is that. But beyond that it’s a way to give thanks to God, the author of the artful life and discover ways to live it throughout our day. So it is appropriate that I launch PollyannaArt.com on Thanksgiving!

Cheri & Barbara Anne (Which is which??)

Cheri & Barbara Anne (Which is which??)

So what is Pollyanna Art? Well, for starters let’s meet Pollyanna. Pollyanna was a best selling 1913 novel, by Eleanor H. Porter, that has been considered a classic in children’s literature. Because of her optimistic outlook, even in the face of terrible circumstances, she became the lead character in a series of novels that came to be known as the “Glad Books”. Pollyanna, an orphan surrounded by stern and slightly abusive adults, transformed everyone around her with her habit of playing the “Glad Game”, finding something to be glad about no matter what happened to her.

Sounds pretty good to me, but in recent years, it has become popular to use “Pollyanna” as a sarcastic term indicating that a person is so positive that they are clueless or naïve about reality. Nothing about Pollyanna, suggests that she was simple minded. She just chose to honor her father’s memory and play the “Glad Game” he taught her so that she would always find joy in her life. Our Heavenly Father wants us to play the Glad Game, that’s why he gave us art!

I have spent a lot of years as a teambuilding consultant to literally hundreds of teams and I can report from experience that a team with a Pollyanna is a lucky team indeed. It is the cynics of the world who drag others down. But for some reason our culture has begun to find cynicism more chic or politically correct than joy or optimism.

A parallel move to the dark side has happened in the world of art as our culture has descended into the negative zones. Artists, hailed by the “so called” legitimate art world as true artists, are largely dark, abstract and evocative of tortured negative emotions. The media has been full of scandalous images of irreverent views of God or the crucifix. For this type of expression, these “fine artists “ have received American tax dollars from the Endowment to the Arts and other public funding sources. Uplifting joyful expressions of talented artists, who have honed their skills so that you can actually tell what the art is about, are given little attention as serious art by the movers and shakers in the world of fine arts.

My belief is that art is the expression of the love, beauty and joy God himself places in our hearts and souls.  When we produce with our lives beauty, love and joy as a gift offering back to Him, we are creating art! In this way many things we might do become our own kind of art. Art might be a loving cartoon scribbled on a child’s lunch bag, a photo album designed to celebrate a blessed time, a family tree painted as a wall mural, a thoughtfully placed candle, a stool painted with a scene of God’s wildflowers, a beautifully written note, a painting of Jesus, a song of worship, or a fun filled skit. All are expressions of art.  When these heartfelt and loving expressions of joy become a way of life, it becomes a joyful, loving, Artful Life.

In my opinion, the tortured, painful, immoral stuff, most frequently passed off as fine art, is a perversion of the gift of art given to man by the Almighty God! So, I am just a Pollyanna about life and art, and I’m proud of that! I think art should make us, and God glad. It should leave everyone a little better because it was expressed! We really have an audience of only one for our art, and that’s God, himself.  Who else could matter? Who else could really know what fine art is?

So come on back if you are OK with joy and love! That’s Pollyanna Art! We’ll talk about the artful life. We’ll share examples. And, we’ll talk about the things that might help or hinder our freedom as Americans to live it every day. Live a Pollyanna Artful life and be filled with the beauty only God can give! 8=))

Thankful for God’s Renewing Grace …By Cheri Douglas

     Posted on April 18th, 2012 by Cheri

I have been struggling with losses from this economy for about 6 years. My small business began to struggle and retirement investments began to disappear in 2006.   That summer a wildfire also ripped through a huge area in my neighborhood leaving lots of black stubble and ash in its path. So, one day as I drove through the miles of blackened fields and burned out home sites, it seemed almost metaphoric of what had raged through the California economy. Just then, something caught my eye. I stopped my car, turned around, and went back to find what I had seen.

As I got out of my car and overlooked the field, I had this sensation of being on some distant planet or moon. No birds singing…no crickets chirping…there was just dry crunchy burned out charred remnants of the life that once was there, but now was just a black mess. There in the middle of it was what my eye had spotted as I drove by. Peeking out of the charred ruins was a tiny purple flower with 2 fresh green leaves.

That courageous flower stood proudly, as if it didn’t even notice that it was overcoming all odds to stand as a model of HOPE. The power of the presence of God so grabbed me as I saw that glimpse of HOPE in the burned rubble, that tears began to well in my eyes. Suddenly the grief of my own burned out life began to pour out and be exchanged for the courage of that tiny flower! God is always with us no matter how burned out our surroundings appear to be. Life always imitates nature and it sure did for me that day. God’s restoration was beginning to take over that huge scene of devastation with the blossoming of that one tiny flower.

Through the prophet Zechariah, God said, “Return to your fortress OH PRISONERS of HOPE! I announce today that I will RESTORE twice what you have lost!”  That little flower was a Prisoner of Hope! With courage it stood proudly allowing God to keep his promise! Today 2 years later, there is a whole bush of purple flowers where that one first peeked out of the ashes.

Many of us need to be proud blossoms and Prisoners of Hope, allowing God to show His greatness as He keeps his promise to RESTORE twice what we have lost in this recession. It is depressing to lose so much, but our times of greatest growth come after our times of greatest loss. We may not know just how to blossom and bloom, but neither does the flower. The flower is just available. God does the rest. We mean so much more to God than flowers!! He will bring the bloom if we can lay down our grief and become available and willing to bloom!

My husband reads stories to me of our great military heroes who touch his heart. Recently he read to me about 27 yr old Capt. Dan Luckett, who lost his left foot and right lower leg and foot when a bomb ripped through his Humvee on a Baghdad street on Mother’s Day in 2008.  Less than a year later, fitted with prosthetic limbs, he earned his Expert Infantryman Badge for the 2nd time, running, 12 miles in under 3 hours with a 35-pound backpack.  Today he is back on the frontlines in Afghanistan, by his choice and dedication to his fellow troops! Now that is a purple flower for sure. Imagine the burned out rubble he has seen. And yet he leaves his grief behind and goes back to inspire others. Nothing is more inspiring than to see someone overcome in the face of seemingly impossible odds and yet remain positive, encouraging, and loving to others. Did you know there are over 40 soldiers who have already lost limbs, back again on the field of battle defending freedom?

The very least we can do here on the home front, is to arise from our economic rubble and raise the banner of HOPE for American once again!  We don’t need to know how. God is with us! We just need to be willing and available and let go of our anger and blame.  God brings the bloom!  Sometimes I think that I am a real wimp for whining about all I have lost financially in this recession.  I know many soldiers facing bombs and guns today would gladly trade places with me!

We who are at home have a responsibility to stand up in our rubble and become Prisoners of Hope.  We must keep the lights on in America so that our troops know that we are worthy of their sacrifices to defend us. They need to see something bright and alive as they look in our direction. I am simply a tiny purple flower in the midst of my burned out field, inviting the Lord to shine through me and attract others to bloom again too. Won’t you join me? Lay down your anger. Give up your depression. See what opportunities God might be bringing into your life to “restore you twice what you have lost”.

It takes just a little FAITH to focus on the HOPE that will RESTORE! Don’t wait for someone else to bloom first. We bloom at different times and they might be watching you for their inspiration.

Let go of the old dead leaves and petals….God wants to show you His power to create a new BLOOM so He can shine through you to brighten your corner of America! Bloom wherever God has planted you! Keep the home front shining bright with HOPE ! Our military heroes need it and deserve it! God will be with you as you arise and do a new thing!

Zechariah 9:12
Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.