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Mindi Oaten Art - Blog



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New Painting | The Hummingbird Pause, Selah

New Painting | The Hummingbird Pause, Selah

The Hummingbird Pause, Selah | 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas

Back home from a powerful weekend at the Levite Summit in Red Deer, AB.  What an amazing time of worship, painting, soaking in God's presence and gleaning from wisdom of others teaching. Spending time in prayer, connecting with others... it was just good.  I think everyone needs to take at least one time a year to spend time with your tribe, be stretched to learn more, to be inspired and challenged and lets not forget the best part... pause to hear God's voice (well, that should be daily).  Although I was there as a presenter, I was also there as a student.  Thank you Levite Summit for inviting me to be part of what you are doing for the Kingdom Creatives!

So what's "the hummingbird pause" you might ask? Selah?  

Let me take you through the process of how I came to paint this.  It will give you a window into how I hear from the Lord. (It's like a super fun treasure hunt, where He reveals more and more along the journey.)

About a week before the Levite Summit, I texted Amy (the best events manager of their ministry) and simply asked, "in one word can you tell me a theme for the conference?"  She replied, "Selah."

Ok then... selah.  Hmmm... I knew that word was used all over the Psalms.  So I looked it up.  What does selah mean in the Bible?

"The word selah is found in two books of the Bible, but is most prevalent in the Psalms, where it appears 71 times. It also appears three times in the third chapter of the minor prophet Habakkuk. 

There is a great deal of uncertainty about the meaning of selah. Most versions of the Bible do not attempt to translate selah but simply transliterate the word straight from the Hebrew.

One possibiliy is that Selah is thought to be rendered from two Hebrew words: s_lah, “to praise”; and s_lal, “to lift up.” Another commentator believes it comes from salah, “to pause.” From salah comes the belief that selah is a musical notation signifying a rest to the singers and/or instrumentalists who performed the psalms. If this is true, then each time selah appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, perhaps to take a breath, to sing a cappella, or to let the instruments play alone. Perhaps they were pausing to praise the One about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship. This theory would encompass all these meanings—“praise,” “lift up,” and “pause.” (Got Questions)


So I prayed, Lord what is the picture you are wanting me to paint to reflect the theme "selah."  In my minds eye, I see a hummingbird flying by and drink from a flower.  I hear the Lord say, "the hummingbird pause."  

I have learned over time how God speaks to me, usually in a short picture or I hear him speak a simple phrase. I've learned to not overthink it, I know the Lord is showing me something.  That is when the fun begins... now I get to dig in deeper with Him to see what He's talking about.

I thought to myself, "does a hummingbird pause?"  I knew the hummingbird has the fastest wings of all the birds, this phrase felt like an oxymoron.  Of all the words to put with a hummingbird, pause didn't seem like an attribute to their nature when flying.  So... I look it up: "does a hummingbird pause?"

The first article that popped up on my computer was titled, "Even Hummingbirds Pause" by Eileen Rockefeller.  What!  I laughed a little... so they do pause!  This is what it reads,

"Hummingbirds’ wings beat at an astonishing rate of forty to ninety times per second.  They are birds on steroids, darting with precision from one flower to the next to drink nectar.  A friend of ours, who made a nature documentary, showed me a clip of a hummingbird pausing in mid-air.  His camera takes one thousand frames per minute.  What a mind-boggling discovery to learn that even hummingbirds pause!  This knowledge has me wondering: If, in the rush hour of ornithological flight, even the fastest wings stop, shouldn’t we humans take a hint?  Cameras, cars, and email interfere.  Nature offers balance."

WOW!  Should we humans take a hint from nature?

God speaks to me so much through nature, while painting the Bible I noticed God in nature, he spoke through his creation, he used creation as teaching metaphors for us. Reading this article I knew what the Lord was showing me: in our busy lives, in this world of distraction and constant busyness, we must take time to pause, to praise, to selah, and "drink in deeply" from God's nectar, His Spirit.  The nectar is the life source for hummingbirds, and spiritually speaking, our life source is to "drink deeply" of God's presence through the Holy Spirit. To pause is the only way to sustain us, to balance us between life duties and filling up spiritually in His presence.  It's the connection to Him we need to hear him clearly. 

Oh ya, there was another detail... the flower!  My absolute favourite part to paint... what flower would add to the depth of meaning in this painting, I thought to myself?  I googled what flowers hummingbirds love to eat from, and yes... this was the first one that came up...  A bleeding heart.  

Ok... now it speaks an even deeper message!  The bleeding heart represent passionate love between two people, a spiritual connect.  The first thing I thought of is Jesus's ultimate display of love for us, his sacrifice and death on the cross.  He bled to atone for our sins, so we can be forgiven and have the gift of salvation.  Jesus is the bleeding heart.  

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:14)

Wow!  I was so excited to paint this... little did I know how much more it would unfold when I got to the Levite Summit.  I didn't tell anyone there what I was going to paint or the meaning I was hearing from the Lord.  I now go into everything I do now with an expectation that God will show up in ways I don't even know or expect.  What will he do through a simple painting of a hummingbird?  It's always an adventure walking with Jesus.  We just have to listen and be obedient to his direction, even when we don't know the full outcome. And be attentive to see Him move.




While on stage painting, God spoke to my spirit in more layers through the speakers testimonies, in worship and in feelings I can't describe in words.  And I always cry now... after painting the Bible, I get overwhelmed by God's presence, I just cry.  (It's a good cry though!)



As the artist, God always saves the best part for me... at the end, there is usually one person in the crowd that God is speaking to through the painting. (there may be more, but he usually sends me one.) 

A woman politely came up to me at the end of the service, I noticed her tears.  She quietly said, "you painted this just for me."  I started crying, I felt the love of the Father for this woman so strongly.  She proceeded to tell me, "before you painted the hummingbird, I knew if it was a bird, it was a word for me."  God knows birds are her thing.  And when I painted specifically a hummingbird, she cried.  A hummingbird is "her bird."  (she was even wearing a hummingbird t-shirt that day!!)  Crazy!  It spoke straight to her heart of some deep inner healing she needs in her life.  God knew she would be there that day and knew everything about this precious daughter of His.  He was healing wounds of her past, healing her heart through a painting of a hummingbird drinking deeply of the bleeding heart. 

As her tears fell, I prayed for her and watched God touch her.  I don't know all the areas God was touching in this beautiful girl, but I was blown away by his loving nature to the one he chose in the crowd. 

I thanked God for this woman.  He's a God of the individual, he created you, knows right where you are at.  He wants to draw you to Him and say, "I'm right here with you." He also knows me so well, that I love seeing "the one" touched by the art... it gives me the awe and wonder of his intricate ways through divine connections. 


As you ponder this week and celebrate a day of LOVE, Valentine's Day, may you remember to pause, praise Him, drink deeply from the nectar of bleeding heart who loves you so intricately. 

We need you Lord.  Your presence is the only thing that sustains us in life.

"but drink deeply of God's Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and offer praise in your hearts to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19)


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  



The Original Painting is available to purchase online if you would like it in your home.  I have also made Fine Art Print options as well. 

Share the gift of art & please share this with someone who needs the message today.  




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Hunger for More | New Painting

Hunger for More | New Painting

Do you hunger for more of God?  More of the Word?  More of His Presence?

I painted this piece at the graduation weekend and worship celebration in Indiana a couple weeks ago.  It was an awesome way to end a two year study (and for me, painting) through every 66 books of the Bible.  It was quite a journey to say the least!  

(If you haven't checked out the paintings, you can click the link to see them here.)

I knew I would be painting live in the worship night during this celebration weekend of reviveSCHOOL, as always, I prayed about a message God wanted me to paint for that night.  As I spent some time with the Lord praying, I heard Him say to me, "do you hunger for more?"  I had an idea where He was going with this...

After completing a 2 year, in depth study and marathon of painting through the Bible, do I hunger for more or say great job and leave it in the past?  Do I hunger for more of Him?  To go deeper into the Word... God spoke to my heart concerning where I was at in finishing an accomplishment such as painting through the Bible, but is that the end?  Do we stop there and say, well done!  You did it!  And check off an accomplishment box that I completed reading through the Bible and stop there.

No... God was asking me, "do you hunger for more?" It's a choice and a response. It should never stop at a timeline or finish line in the natural.  He was showing me this is just the beginning!

I saw this painting unfold in my mind as I sat with Him.  A path in a canopy of green trees, lite with sunlight peeking through the branches, drawing me to walk towards the light on a narrow path.  A single butterfly fluttering in the foreground almost as if saying, follow me. I saw the Bible opened laying on a linen cloth, bread broken and of course, a flower! (If you heard about my story painting the Bible, you will understand why I had to have a flower in there.)  A red anemone laying in front of the scene. I started to unpack what the vision represented... 

The open Word of God is alive and active, it leads us on a path of knowing Him, Jesus Christ. Jesus is in all the Bible, everything points to Him.  He is the light, the way the truth and the life, resurrection power, He is the bread of life, the source of our spiritual nourishment, the aroma of sacrifice.  We must eat on the bread of life, having an intimate relationship with Him, He welcomes all to the table to dine.  The flower represents the blood that was shed for all humanity on the Cross in order to have salvation and eternal life.  The butterfly is our life transformed through Him, now and in eternity! And the linen represents, "Jesus is alive!" His body left the tomb.

When we know Jesus, we hear His voice. He guides and directs our steps down the narrow path of our destiny.  He has a plan for each and every person to fulfill while on earth.  We must get to know Him, so we can discern His voice from that of others that lead us astray.  And in order to know Jesus, we must read His Word and spend time with Him in His presence. 

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

"Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;" (John 11:25)

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6: 35-40)

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2:14-15)

Here's the crazy part, after I sketched out this painting, I talked to my cousin Kyle, who would be preaching that night as I painted, and dared asked him what his message was about.  (I never used to do that while we were traveling and painting, it was more fun that way to see how the Lord was speaking to us individually that came together.)  Well... I wasn't surprised when I heard what he was thinking, it fit perfectly and added more confirmation to this painting!  He said his main message was about the Road to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-35.  After reading the passages in the Bible, I saw the painting coming together and the Lord speaking more clearly about the message and why he was asking me if I hunger for more.  

Another question entered my mind when I read the Scriptures: Do we SEE Him in our daily walk?  

You really need to read the Scripture to get a bigger picture and more meaning to this painting:

On the Road to Emmaus

13 "Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread." (Luke 24:13-35)

Do we recognize Jesus on the path beside us?  Do we hunger for more of Him?  

These two guys didn't even recognize Jesus until he broke the bread!  I am going to leave it there for you to pray and seek the Lord for interpretation in your own life.  I know what I felt Him speaking to me about... and I am going to use this as a reminder to ignite that fire and passion to hunger for MORE! To open my eyes. It's more than duties, it's about encountering the King of Glory, the living God, the Messiah, everyday on our journey.  He's always there right beside us to lead the way.  Sometimes it's a shift in perspective to see He's right there speaking to us.  The bread of life.

I pray this painting speaks to your heart and blesses you.  May you pause for a moment and reflect, ask God, "Do I hunger for more of you?" "Do I see you right beside me?"  "What is your plan for my life, to be a light and carry out the calling you have anointed me for..."  

May we all open our eyes to see the MORE!



PS. Please leave comments if you wish to share what you hear and see.  I always love hearing from amazing people!

To purchase a print of this painting, click here.

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Exodus | "The Anointed Deliverer"

Exodus | "The Anointed Deliverer"

I'm excited to share with you all my second painting!  (I'm a little behind getting this out, but better late than never.) The book of Exodus. A picture representing Christ as "The Anointed Deliverer," our Passover Lamb.

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Genesis | The Promised Seed - by Mindi Oaten Art

Genesis | The Promised Seed - by Mindi Oaten Art


And so it begins… I am well underway with my new assignment, painting each book of the Bible. I promised to show and share with you all my journey painting, so let’s begin. Here is my painting for Genesis:

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2018 New Year | New Assignment

2018 New Year | New Assignment

Happy 2018 everyone! I am so excited to have crossed over into this New Year. This is a year of fresh starts, new doors and digger deeper... for me, beginning with a blank canvas.  I wanted to start off the year by announcing a new creative adventure that I am honoured to be part of.

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New Original Art | New Beginnings

New Original Art | New Beginnings

Announcing a new mini series I painted in January.  I felt the Lord nudging me to start off the year with a picture of new beginnings, the hope of promises to come and to learn how to rest in Him through the waiting.

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