“Ascending”

“The work of sanctification is the process of painting the features of spiritual and divine beauty on human souls. And in this process, the Divine Artist oftentimes employs trials as His instruments…  Many a feature of beauty in the soul — is brought out in the darkness of affliction.” JR Miller

Got word this morning that a dear friend is in ICU following emergency surgery removing much of his small and large intestines. He is stable but sedated, and will be facing more surgery in the near future. His faithful family is with him and prayers are ASCENDING to the Throne of Grace on his behalf by both his physical and his spiritual family. I just had to write about how Amazing it is that we Can have Real Peace at a time like this because of our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. He understands all of our sufferings, needs and temptations because He lived in the same world we do, in a body like ours. He DESCENDED from His rightful place in heaven to fully atone for each sin of each sheep and then ASCENDED back to His Father (and our Father) after overcoming death itself. Without Him, we would be overcome with Fear as we live in this world in our bodies that are susceptible to illnesses, disease and injuries; Joy would be impossible at times like these. But With Him, our hearts are full of Peace By His Generous Grace!

Hebrews 4:14-16 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already Ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

“Hearts of Stone”

Ezekial 36:26  Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the Heart of Stone from your flesh and give you a Heart of Flesh.

If the Heart that people had for Puppies existed for Babies, there would be many more appalled at what is being done to tiny helpless humans these days.  Our hearts have become hardened…stony…

This EVIL wave is not happening behind some dungeon door at the hands of terrorists, but by trained medical DOCTORS who took an oath to DO NO HARM.  There is Much Harm being done to the most helpless ones right here IN AMERICA, where WE live.  How did this come to be?  How have things changed so fast since 2002 when every Senator voted to (at the very least), give medical care to babies who survived their attempted murder in the womb? How have we so quickly gone from a people who honored and fought for life to one who is anxious to grab more legal power to kill the most helpless ones with such sick boldness? 


I was reminded by a friend that our leaders not protecting the most helpless among us shouldn’t surprise me… There is living evil all around us.  This is true, but today as I try to deal with my anger and dismay at what our country is becoming (with the failure of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act), I am reminded that there is also still evil within ourselves, something worth meditating on as we seek to influence our country for good.  I am humbled again as I realize how much I still sin, even breaking the Greatest Commandment on a regular basis. 

Matthew 22:36-37 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus replied to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'”

How is it possible that any of His creatures could sin here? How can we not Easily LOVE Him Who gave His All for His people?  To Not Love the Holy One Who Himself gave us life and watched as we chose disobedience and Sin in His garden, and repeated the sinful choice of Self over God many times over… And Then Gave His Most Beloved Son to Save Us! 

Amazing Grace!!!!  
How could we not Love the LORD?

How could we not Love the LORD Who had every right and cause to simply abandoned us in our sins, allowing us to pay for them ourselves throughout eternity…

How could we not Love the LORD Who intimately knows the depth of sin and lack of Love for Him that is in us, but Still Loved Us and sent His Precious, Holy, Only Son to bear the AWFUL BURDEN of Atoning for our sins? 

How could we not Love the LORD, Who created the universe in Power and then allowed Himself to be born into His kingdom not as The King, but a helpless baby who lived to be abused, blasphemed, tortured and killed for those who still did not love Him? 

How could we not Love the LORD, Who fills All our needs and Keeps us from falling away for a blessed eternity with Him? 

How could we not Love the LORD? 

And yet, we don’t, at least not as He Deserves.  The Amazing Effects of The Fall, of Sin and of Evil still abound, both around and in us.  Today, I continue to love myself more than I do My LORD, even though I don’t want to.  Oh for More Humility, more Righteousness in all Your creatures and especially the People of Your flock, Dear Lord… 

Romans 7: 15, 18-19, 24-25, 8:1-3 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]… 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. 19 For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. … 24 Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin. 1 Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do [that is, overcome sin and remove its penalty, its power] being weakened by the flesh [man’s nature without the Holy Spirit], God did: He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man as an offering for sin. And He condemned sin in the flesh [subdued it and overcame it in the person of His own Son]

I Rejoice in knowing that Only because of the Faith He gave me (I can take no credit for any part of my life), He Completely Accepts me with the Very Same Love He has for His Son!   Without God’s Loving Grace, we all remain prisoners in our sin and are as helpless as these little ones our country once again voted to crush.  We are indeed Lost. But Amazing Grace!!!  We can be Forgiven!

Oh LORD, Please show Your Grace to Your world once again, and soften our cold, dead Hearts of Stone by Your Great Love and Sovereignty.  May You gift our country with many more Hearts of Flesh that beat only to Please You. Your Grace and Love are Enough to save anyone, no matter what sins have been or will be committed. May You keep the eyes of Your People Firmly on You, so that we are not destroyed by despair from looking at the plight of Your world. Come Quickly, Lord…

Isaiah 49:15 The Lord answers, “Can a woman forget the baby she nurses? Can she feel no kindness for the child to which she gave birth [of her womb]? Even if she could forget her children, I will not forget you.

Inspiration…

Here is the Song I hear in my head whenever I think of the

One Thing Needful

It’s a precious song by a precious singer who is no longer living on this earth, Rich Mullins, called, “My One Thing“. I hope you give it a listen and enjoy it as much as I have for so many years.

One

Distractions… they are literally EVERYWHERE! Being an artist, I’ve discovered I have one of “those brains” that gets easily distracted with visual and auditory input as well as ideas of things I want to learn and pursue. It is very easy for me to get so wrapped up in my distractions that I don’t actually accomplish a thing. I don’t think I’m alone in this… It’s such a struggle to FOCUS, especially in this modern world.

That was the idea behind my newest painting, “One“. I am trying to put in visual form this idea of all the things in life that fight to steal our limited resources (everything from time to money to energy to space), literally wasting our life, while depicting

The One Thing Necessary

“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [qall her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

“In The Background”

More thinking on the ideas I hope to display through my newest Art series, “Polyphony“.

SO MANY THINGS going on “In The Background” of our lives that we can’t see clearly… maybe we can catch a glimpse of them, but nowhere close to a clear display of the reality of Polyphonic Sovereign Workings of the Creator. This is precisely where we are called to TRUST.

Godly Faith (a Gift from God) leads us by the hand as we navigate the specific path we are on, trusting that He will not let us ultimately fall. Oh yes, there will be stumbles and trips, some bringing us to our knees, but He will hold us fast, as we lean hard on Him Alone!

Psalm 37:24 If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds [upholds] their hand.

Polyphony Epiphany!

POLYPHONY… my word of the day! During my morning reading, I realized that the Art I’m currently working on is actually becoming a Series, something I didn’t plan. The idea behind this Series has to do with the countless Layers of the Sovereign Works of God constantly occurring all around us but mostly out of our line of sight. I think of the Sovereignty of God as a type of Polyphonic Symphony, made up of so many details and parts that we can’t imagine how they could all work together, but the end result is Amazing! We can’t understand it or even see the vast majority of it… at least not clearly. All we can do (by His Grace Alone) is to catch glimpses of His works, and learn to trust Him with His Symphony, our life.

More to come later, but for now, enjoy a bit of Polyphony!

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

“…faith looks at, and has a glimpse of things not seen, which are eternal; but it is but seeing as through a glass darkly; it is not that full sight, face to face, which will be had hereafter, when faith is turned into vision.”  John Gill

I think of this Sovereignty of God as a type of Polyphonic Symphony, made up of so many details and parts that we can’t imagine how it could work together instead of exploding. We can’t understand it. We can’t even see the vast majority of it; at least not clearly.
We can simply learn to trust Him . More to come later, but for now, enjoy a bit of Polyphony!

2019!

Dark and Dreary Days are so FUN! I KNOW, Right?! Seriously… FUN!

Okay, well maybe not ALL of them, but I am enjoying being in “Art Mode”, awake in the middle of the night and sleepy (or sleeping!) in the daylight hours, of which there seem to be few. I got my studio all cleaned up and organized just so I could destroy it again while working on several paintings at once. I jumped off into The BIG End and have started working on three canvas acrylics that will be 24 x 36″, just in time for the San Juan Island Artists Studio Tour (June 1-2). I’m a guest of Cinda Sue Dow again, a sweet and talented pastel artist who I greatly appreciate as both a terrific artist, and a great encourager. Check her out at: http://cindasue.com/

Currently two of my paintings are in the “hideous” stage, something that tends to happen before I end up really liking them, so there’s hope! Unfortunately, I also tend to get a bit over-focused on them at this point. It’s a challenge to know when to try “just one more layer” of paint, and when to chuck it! By tomorrow, it should be clear which direction they’re headed! Ha! Stay tuned…

Details…

Original Art, Mixed Media, Acrylic, Textile, Jewelry, Northwest Organic