Psalm 1 – Why do devotions?
By S. Jewell S. McGhee
Dear Jr. High Sunday School class,
What I want to teach you, more than anything, is to delight in the law of the LORD. God’s word brings happiness, joy, and -yay even- fun.
But you must not believe what “everyone” says, or do what “everyone” does, or laugh at all the jokes. Wicked counsel, a life of sin, and humor at everyone else’s expense will lead to sorrow and pain.
However, the one who loves God’s word and thinks about it and puts it in their heart, the one who fills their day with the aroma of scripture- this person- this student- this Jr. Higher will have strength and endurance, peace and happiness. They will succeed in their plans and hopes. They won’t be full of hopelessness, or withering depression. No matter how it appears. God will honor them.
Not so with the sarcastic, irreverent, scheming friends will not be honored or successful. No matter how it appears. God will not honor them. They will have no strength.
I pray that God will be your strength and on his rock you will stand firm.
S. Jewell S. McGhee
Jewell is an artist who has come to be known also as an author. She often writes a reflection to go with her art pieces and has been paraphrasing the psalms for many years.
About the Artist
S. Jewell S. McGhee likes to call her art “painting with pencils.” She first started using colored pencils to help her mother write names on lunch bags for school. “My mom would pick matching themes for the names on our bags; all balloons, or sunrises, or sometimes just geometric shapes. She always made them so beautiful; a plain brown bag lunch was, all at once, a love note, a story, a hug, and simple colors to enlighten us for the rest of the day.” These bags also became a constant reminder that art was simple, attainable, and a necessary part of every day.
“I always start with a story.” Every time you hear a story you have a physical (tears, a chuckle, or a smile) or mental (confusion, contentment) reaction which is unable to be explained in words alone. “I like to use abstract art as a medium to dive deeply into the complicated mess of a story and discover something more about it and about myself.” She follows the flow of a story and finds the shapes and colors that express its fundamental emotions and questions.
Jewell uses her art to interpret the stories of Shakespeare, the newspaper, the Bible, and her own life. “As I grapple with Hamlet, I see lines-sharp and violent-cutting through relationships and into love. There is red: obviously for blood, but also for love (a riddle itself). A golden crown, a golden son; a golden sun breaking through ghosts, clouds, and lives to reveal blackness and blood.” How black is the blackness of hate? What texture is grace? What shape is confusion, or desperation, or promise? These are the questions these pieces ask.