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Thursday, April 17, 2008


I had the honor of speaking at the Portrait Society of America's Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last week. A high point of the weekend for me was being asked to speak at the Inspirational Hour on Sunday morning. We had a great group, much larger than expected for 7:30 am in the morning!  By request, here is the highlights of the talk I presented entitled S.H.A.P.E. 

Throughout our lives God gives us the opportunity to paint self portrait. As Benjamin West said we should always seek "... the essential character, not the accidental appearance" of our subjects. What does God see when he views our self portrait now in progress? How can we S.H.A.P.E. our lives to grow as people of faith to reflect more of God's vision for His people.

Col. 3:24 

Are you giving to others through your work? Do you teach, give your time and work to others? http://www.ksdk.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=112398

Psalm 78:70-72

Are you following your heart?

"He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his heart and his hands is a craftsman. He who works with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."  St. Francis of Assisi

I Chronicles 29:17
Psalm 25:21
I Peter 5:5

There are opportunities to do the right thing and the wrong thing everyday. Do you make good choices? Do you remain humble in your life and work? Do you give God credit for what he has given you?

Luke 10:41-42
Rev 2:2, 4, 5

Do you keep things in perspective? Do you remember the importance of God first in your life? Family? Relationships?

E= Experience
Romans 8:28

Do you use your experiences to grow? Both positive and negative experiences? God does not waste either. Both can help you grow closer to Him.

God is infinitely kind and patient. Ruth Graham once said after driving through a construction site she saw a sign that read "End of Construction. Thank You for Your Patience." She felt it summed up her life perfectly.  Keep striving everyday to SHAPE your lives and self portrait in His image. Think and reflect often on the perfect life of His son, Jesus. Go to God's word and pray for guidance every day.


Skeet Sirmons said...

I truly wish I was able to be present for your devotion and at the conference in general. Thank you for sharing this. I struggle every day with how best to serve God through the work He has given me. I feel blessed and encouraged this morning through your blog. Blessings to you!

MIchael Shane Neal said...

Thank you, Skeet. It was a great weekend and you would have been pleased to see so many folks up early Sunday morning! Best wishes to you.

deborah ridgley said...

Thanks Shane for the refresher notes on the great speech you gave at spiritual hour at the PSA. I am going to print this out and post it on my studio wall along other quotes you have relayed to me via your workshops and email. I especially like the last one "E" for experiences. Using both positive and negative experiences to grow with God. As you may know, this year has been a challenge for me with the passing of my great father who was the master of wonderful quotes and positive living!! Thanks again, Smiles all around!, deborah

Art Lady said...

I was one of the weary hoarde in the room when you held Inspirational Hour. I was up til past 2am that morning and couldnt imagine why I was getting out of bed so early, but I am very, very glad I did. Thanks to your comments, I was able to talk to Ed about his daughter and share some relevant personal experience with him. It seems that this encounter may have helped him in a way and afforded me the opportunity to share some hard-earned experiences with someone going thru similar trials. I also came away inspired and recommitted to interpreting God's beauty through my art. Thanks Friend!

Rebecca said...

I found your website a few weeks ago, but after coming back to see what is new, I am so pleased to see that an artist that I respected from the start is allowing God to direct his steps. Thank you for your example of giving God the glory and stepping out of the light to give Him proper place in your career. What an encouragement.

MIchael Shane Neal said...

Thank you Terry and Rebecca. I so appreciate your comments and encouragement. Blessings,