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Mindi Oaten Art - Blog

Advent 2020 | Jesus in the Old Testament | by Elaine Knudtson

Advent 2020 | Jesus in the Old Testament | by Elaine Knudtson
Advent 2020 | Jesus in the Old Testament
written by Elaine Knudtson
Artwork by Mindi Oaten
~
I am excited to share this Advent devotional leading up to Christmas,  written by my friend Elaine.  You can read along everyday, experiencing a deeper reflection of why we celebrate Christmas, the true meaning.  God divinely connection me with Elaine, who has helped me with her anointed writing, put together the most beautiful manuscript, to bring my dream of a coffee table book of the Bible Paintings to life.  My prayer is this book project will be released sometime in 2021. Enjoy this advent writing... 
Mindi
~

Dear Friends,

In 2017, Mindi Oaten was commissioned to do a painting for every book of the Bible.  At the end of two years, the work was completed, and I was invited to write a summary and poem to go alongside each painting.  After ten months, that work has been completed.  We are now in the final stages of compiling a book that should be available sometime in 2021.

It has been a blessing to immerse ourselves in the Bible as a whole.  As Christians, we often downplay the importance of the Old Testament, but the threads of God’s grace weave together in a tapestry revealed at the coming of Jesus.  It is our prayer that you will see advent from a different perspective as you journey with us during these next twenty-seven days.

May the Lord keep you in his love and care.

Sincerely,

Elaine Knudtson

~

November 29th

The Opening Act

Genesis | "The Promised Seed" by Mindi Oaten

 "And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:8-9)

“Hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning as we come to the close of this year.  Our world has been disrupted by the introduction of an invisible virus; causing us to reflect on what we have lost.  Who would have believed that we would be in this place a year ago when we were preparing for Christmas 2019? 

Advent began in the garden of Eden with God’s beloved, Adam and Eve.  Imagine his delight in creating the universe in a moment, with the breath of his Word and the dance of the Spirit.  The fireworks of light were the artist’s palette that he swirled into stars and planets.  Time stood still as he crafted a home for his creatures amidst a feast of colour, sound, taste, scent and touch.   From the beginning he had you in mind; like a bridegroom preparing for his bride.  But it all went terribly wrong when we exchanged our innocence for sovereignty, testing the limits of his love.  No longer able to see his face or walk with him in the garden, humanity began a tragic alienation that corrupted the earth and replaced the divine center with self-interest. 

Yet a seed remains of the original beauty, truth and goodness, reminding us that we were created for so much more.  We pause in those moments of transcendent joy, to feel God’s presence and wait for his return.  Thus begins our advent journey.

“Oh Lord, we give you thanks for the beauty we see in creation.  Your love is evident in the natural world and in the relationships we hold most dear.  Prepare our hearts for your coming during this time of advent. Walk with us as we ponder the changes in our life this past year.”  Amen

 

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"Liberty & Justice for All"

"Liberty & Justice for All"
"Liberty & Justice for All" | 30" x 40" Original Art
November 2020

 

“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18 

“For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” Isaiah 61:8

“Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” Psalm 106: 3

~

Painting as prayer... I've been praying for the United States and had this sketched in my sketchbook over a year ago, maybe longer.  Leading up to the elections, God put this sketch back on my heart to paint as intercession for the USA.  I never got it finished before the elections and was disappointed, but I didn't know what it would look like on the other side of the election... and the nation needs more prayer than ever for that matter to be resolved.  I heard the Lord again, paint as you pray.

This is the painting that came out of the time... complete on USA Thanksgiving.  

 

This is a painting symbolizing the identity of the United States of America.  I added elements that symbolize the American portrait, it's God given heritage and sound.  Justice reigns and Liberty rings.  Sound the trumpet!  Awaken and stand firm, take your positions for what the Lord has planned in this mighty nation.  He's given you the trumpet blast... time to mobilize and take back the land for the Lord.  Founded on Biblical truth, aligned with Israel.  Shine your light across the world!  Be drawn into the rose garden and walk with the Lord, hear his voice and feel his presence.   

Let freedom ring!  Liberty!  "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Chronicles 3:17.  Out of your brokenness, you will be lifted up with greater authority and power from the Lord.  His glory will shine through you.    

"Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants." Leviticus 25:10

~

The Flag:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  

 

Liberty Bell:

The sound ringing across the nation of freedom.  Liberty!  “Where the spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.”  The bell is cracked and broken, out of brokenness comes revival.  The humble will be first and the proud last.  When America is broken before the Lord and put him first in the land once again, the new sound will ring with greater power! 

 “For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

“For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:2

 

The Justice Scale:

Justice is woven into the fabric of this nation.  A Biblical foundation of justice.  Praying for justice to be done, truth to be brought into the light, and the Justice of the Lord to be served.

 

Bible:

A nation founded on God’s word.  The word must come back into this nation.  A return of the Word of God, a return of Truth.  

 

Gavel:

Law and order. May law and order be preserved, upheld and provide protection to the people.

 

The Rose Garden:

The national flower of the United States. On November 20, 1986, President Ronald Reagan declared the rose our National Flower in a special ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. The proclamation reads, in part:

More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity… We see proofs of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age… Our first President, George Washington, bred roses… The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States… We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.

Be drawn into the secret place of the garden America, hear and experience his presence, the Lord walking with you in the garden. 

 

The Trumpet:

Sound the alarm!  Awaken from slumber, stand in position.  Prepare to march forward.  The Lord is sounding the trumpet!  He has been for the last four years, time to unify America and come into alignment with the plans of the Lord.  He’s given you the trumpet blast… wake up and fight!  The Lord is returning, take your place in the war of nations to hold fast to God’s plans.  He is returning!

 

The Feathers:

This represents the Holy Spirit, the Godhead, the trinity (3 feathers) and the angelic assistance over this nation.  He will cover you with his feathers, he will protect those who call upon the name of the LORD.  “Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and joy are in His place.”  Give glory and shouts of praises to His holy name.  He is with you.

 

The Candle:

The light has come.  You are a city on a hill, burning brightly.  Do not let your light go out, put it on a lampstand for all to see.  Shine in the darkness.  Burning for the Lord, those who believe carry the light of life. 

 

The Prayer Shawl & Olive Branch:

The United States stands with Israel.  Praying for the peace of Jerusalem.  You are grafted into the tree, a sheep nation in the last days.  Become a mighty nation of prayer.   

 click here for your own Fine Art Print of this painting... a great reminder to pray for this nation.  

Standing in prayer with the United States of America,

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Prepared for a Purpose

Prepared for a Purpose

"Prepared for a Purpose" | 24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

painted live during the Levite Summit online event & given to my Collector Club members for November 2020 

click here to get a copy of the fine art print

 ~

“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Isaiah 22:22

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Ps. 91:4

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139: 13-16

~

I had the opportunity to be a presenter and paint live for an arts & worship conference called the “Levite Summit” here in Canada this month. I painted live during the worship portion of the webinar and planned to use the opportunity to paint my November Collectors Cub painting!  (some may have already saw the pictures, but didn’t know you would be getting it!)  What an experience… I felt the presence of God so strong during worship as I created this painting and now get to share it with you all. 

 

As I prayed for November, I kept hearing the word, “preparation” and saw this nest and eggs.  Then I saw a gold key appear in the nest.  This is what I felt as I sketched it out:

We are being prepared, a season of preparation for what’s to come.  In a time of shaking, he protects us, he comforts us, he disciplines us to get us stronger, free from old sins and patterns so we are ready!  We are “nesting” in a process to birth new songs, brand new ideas and assignments.  Trust God in this preparation time.  We are being given new keys to overcome, open new doors and take authority over the darkness.  The butterflies are almost ready to fly!  Get prepared, rest in his love, you were born for such a time as this!

~

 

I thought I would share an email from a participant of the Levite Summit, it gives beautiful layers and confirmation to this painting, she gave me permission to share: 

With regards to the prophetic painting Mindi did - WOW!!! It was incredibly significant for every person we prayed for!  When I saw the nest, God immediately reminded me of a revelation He gave me last August.  Holy Spirit led me to search up the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is "Samekh". It means "to uphold, lean upon, to support".

On the website 'Hebrew for Christians' on Samekh, there is a part where it talks about "The miracle of samekh".  Samekh, combined with the preceding letter of the alphabet, Nun, spells the word "NES" which means "Miracle". BUT, because I am originally from South Africa and Afrikaans is my native language, I know that "NES" is the Afrikaans word for "NEST"!

Now you understand how the painting reminded me of this revelation!

The cool thing is that "Nun" means "a person who is bent, someone who humbles himself in brokenness and submission to the Lord God."

So, according to this website, the combination of samekh and nun that forms the word NES (miracle) means:  "A person of faith is a walking miracle! The Lord gives support to the fallen and broken ones who put their trust in Him.”  Indeed, this is directly illustrated in Psalm 145, an acrostic Psalm that begins its verse about Samekh as follows:

"The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down."

I feel that this is part of the message God gave at the Levite Summit!

The cursive way of writing this letter is also a circle, which looks like a NEST! God's love and glory which has no beginning or end!

Sukkah also starts with a samekh, indicating that God's omnipresence is our support and shelter. God is active in His support for creation and we are passive in relying our trusting in His provision and care for our lives.

The painting really opened up so much revelation during the prayer ministry - about resting in the comfort of God's perfect, never-ending Love and protection - surrounded... Even in life's storms, here we are safe and receive from Him revelation, keys to His Kingdom, and are being transformed.  And in letting go of our burdens, we become light as a feather!

Col 2:2 (TPT) " I am contending for you that your hearts will be wrapped in the comfort of heaven and woven together into love's fabric.  This will give you access to all the riches of God as you experience the revelation of God's great mystery - Christ (in us)"

The comfort of being and resting in the center of God's love, in the "nest" of safety and protection that He has woven together... Trusting Him completely, staying/abiding there, and receiving from Him revelation, all of this while He transforms us into the likeness and image of JESUS (the butterfly).

Thank you for an amazing day!! May God bless each of you tremendously!!

Love, Hanlie Schuch

 

Be prepared for what’s ahead!  Rest in Him.  He has a great plan for you in this next season!

If you want to JOIN THE CLUB, please click here!
The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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A Time and A Season | October 2020

A Time and A Season | October 2020

A Time and A Season | 24" x 30" original painting

painted for my Collectors Club, October 2020

 

original painting available, click here.

 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 
   a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet  no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11
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“He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, And have now made known to me what we asked of You, For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”  Daniel 2: 21-23

~

I’m not sure about you, but when autumn leaves turns to shades of fire, the air is crisp and the wind blows… I feel a transition.  In the natural there is an obvious change in season, but spiritually I feel it as well.  Especially this year.  We are moving into a new season on the earth and in the heavenlies, I feel the transition.  The Lord sure surprised many of us with the year 2020, not what most of us would have expected.  But he knows what he’s doing, and I believe he used this “shaking” to wake us up to who he is and what he plans to do.  Have we stewarded this season well?  That is what I keep hearing in prayer.  Have we used this time of pause to consider our ways, align with God’s will and promises, repent for wrong thinking, wrongdoing, come back to the Father’s heart… as the leaves fall, I pray everything dead in our lives falls away, goes into the ground for a time of rest and reset, and bloom in due season with even greater fruit than before.  I was reminded of the famous verses in Ecclesiastes and the Scripture about the seed falling to the ground and dying: 

 

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12: 24-26

 

Transition can be both unsettling and exciting.  Not knowing what lies ahead, in our personal lives, in our countries and the world can be scary, but also exciting if we trust in the Almighty and partner with his plans that will come, he ultimately promises restoration and all things new.  The Lord has been reminding me in these times, to remain focused on his Word, trusting his plans and dying to self so he can use me to multiply many seeds.  What do we need to let go of in order for God to breath on according to his will?  What areas do we hold onto that keeps us stuck in the past?  These are questions I have been challenged with as I cross over to a new season.

 

Much like a tree losing its leaves in the fall, there is a purpose designed for this. The leaves go into a cycle where they do more good for the tree in the ground, to produce nutrients it needs for the winter months.  When the tree is leafless, it can’t make food. But it doesn’t get hungry. Instead, it rests and prepares for the new leaves.  Leaves are really important for the tree, but sometimes it’s better for the tree to let them go. They can save all the good bits and when there is enough water, they can use them to grow brand new leaves.  Leaves “sense” the season changing and respond accordingly.  We can learn so much from God’s creation.

 

I think that’s the biggest challenge in life, waiting on the appropriate time and season of the Lord.  We need to learn how to be sensitive to his times and know the season we are in.  Both personally and corporately.  The best way to know, is lean into the Lord.  Have that personal relationship with him, in the Word and in prayer… and he will give you wisdom, understanding and instruction to move forward in due season.

 

This painting is obvious.  Beautiful fall leaves capturing the warmth of the season on display.  Sometimes things should be just that simple.  When I prayed about the October painting, I kept seeing the fall leaves and a Bible opened.  And I heard the Lord say, “A time and a season, during transitions in seasons, we have to be have to be grounded in the Word and in prayer to hear instructions.”  We may feel impatient at times and move in our own strength, but we must wait for it, keep praying and not move ahead of God’s timing.  He purposes times for a reason.

 

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”  Habakkuk 2:3

 

~
Be blessed and thankful in this transition season and expectant of what lies ahead!
If you want to JOIN THE CLUB, please click here!
The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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A Garden of Prayer

A Garden of Prayer
A Garden of Prayer
Painted for my September 2020 Collectors Club print
“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2
“Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Ephesians 5:2
“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”  Revelation 8: 3-4

~

Who doesn’t love receiving a bouquet of flowers?  I know I do!  Flowers are one of the most simple and beautiful gestures a person can give or enjoy from the garden.  The very beauty and fragrance of flowers is a gift from God.  They are reminders of Eden, walking with God in the cool of the day, the place we were created to be, in close communion with Him.  The Bible refers to our prayers like an aroma pleasing to God.  Just as Jesus offered up himself as a fragrant sacrifice for us, making the way for New Testament believers, our prayers are a scent pleasing to God that reach him directly through Christ.   

For the past couple months, prayer has been on my heart.  I felt a deep conviction from the Lord that I need to take prayer way more seriously. I felt a stirring inside that I need to set aside time, as a sacrifice in my day, to intentionally pray.  Jesus would rise up before dawn to spend time in prayer, to stay connected to the Father.  “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed in to a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35. 

 

As I was listening to the Lord one morning, I heard him say “you will need to pray next level prayers in the days ahead.  It will be needed for daily instruction in the times we are walking into.”  I saw a picture of being drawn into deeper areas of the Garden; a place of sitting with the Lord to hear his heart, lifting up praise and thanksgiving for who he is, for our salvation through his sacrifice, praying the Word as a weapon of truth and coming into alignment with God’s will and plans.  Let’s face it, we are in a battle between good and evil.  As ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven, we have been given authority to pray in the name of Jesus, to reign over the demonic forces coming against us.  It is time to preserver in prayer like never before. A call to deeper intersession, repentance, praise and thanksgiving, forgiveness, seeking wisdom and utter dependence on Him.    

 

This painting is a reminder to take time to pray from the secret place, the garden of your heart to the Lord.  When we spend time with him in prayer, the “golden bowls” in heaven are filled and please the Lord.  He hears our prayers.  The prayers of the righteous are powerful and fragrant, like a bouquet offered up to the King.  Prayers are more important now than ever before; we need them personally to stay grounded, to intercede for our cities and nations, for our loved ones, and all those who need a touch from God. Cultivate a garden of prayer.  

 

 

(Click here to order a fine art print of this painting.)

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14

 

I can smell the bouquets rising already!
If you want to JOIN THE CLUB, please click here!
The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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Ready & Awake | New Painting and Message

Ready & Awake | New Painting and Message
Ready & Awake | 24" x 18" acrylic on canvas 
Painted for my August 2020 Collectors Club print
Original painting available... click here

 

 

 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’  “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 

“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”  Matthew 25: 1-13

 

“The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”  “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.  The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”  Jeremiah 1: 11-12

~

For the past couple of years, the parable of the ten virgins has been on my heart with a sense of urgency.  I was in prayer for this month’s painting and the picture of the oil jar and lamp kept coming to mind.  I have painted a few different version of this in the past, (click here to see "Get Ready" & "The Oil & The Light") but I felt the urge to paint it again for the Collectors Club.  This time, I saw an almond branch as well.  The oil jar and lamp signify to be ready and shine, while the almond branch is a symbol of awakening. 

 

The Oil and Lamp - There is a lot I could write about concerning this parable, but I will share a few of the key parts the Lord keeps speaking to me about.  I asked the Lord, what is the extra oil represent?  How do we make sure we carry extra oil so we are ready with a lite lamp…  I heard him say to me, “it’s walking with me daily.  It’s knowing me and my ways.  It’s the daily communing through the Holy Spirit, being truly born again and abiding on the vine.”  We see in the verses above, when the bridegroom came, the foolish virgins asked if they could enter, he says “I don’t know you.”  This is the divide of those who truly know the Lord and those who are false believers and try to get oil from others without paying the price for it ahead.  The foolish virgins were told to go buy their own oil… walking with the Lord costs something.  There is a price to pay for carrying extra oil daily to be prepared.


Everyone is responsible for their own oil according to this scripture.  It’s a personal preparation and choice to be ready at any moment to meet Jesus.  What is the cost?  Certain things will differ for everyone according to their own life and calling, but there are a few things in the Bible we all have in common: picking up our cross daily and following Jesus, dying to our fleshly nature and selfish ambitions, fully surrendering our ways to the Lord.  It may come with persecution, with the world hating you for the sake of Christ, it may cost you possessions, saying no to empty pursuits, friends, jobs, family, popularity, the latest trend, fitting in the crowd, etc.  But at the end of the day, would getting in the door be worth all these temporary things?  Absolutely! 

 

The Almond Branch - Nature is a parable of God’s working.  The almond tree is one of the first that awakens and blooms in the spring from its winter sleep.  In the Bible it is a symbol of awakening and watching.  God showed Jeremiah a vision of an almond branch as a sign that he is watching to fulfill his word to the prophet.  God is always watching.  The branch in the painting reminds me to awaken and be alert.  We can’t be lulled to sleep by the ways of the world and lose our focus on what God is doing.  He needs us to be his hands and feet on the earth to carry out his plans.  We need to be like the budding almond branch, the first to blossom, so others can see the beauty and need for a life in Christ. 

 

I pray this painting is a small reminder to be alert and make sure your oil jar is being filled daily.  Share the light of Christ with others so they can have their own lamp filled as well.  Every day the hour draws closer to the cry ringing out, “Here is the bridegroom!  Come out and meet him!”  We need to be like the wise virgins, ready with our extra oil. 

 

Thank you all again for being part of my Collectors Club & anyone wanting to join.  I pray this art print encourages you during this time.
 
~
Be encouraged and awake,
If you want to JOIN THE CLUB for SEPTEMBER, please click here!
The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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Peace I Give You | New Painting & Message

Peace I Give You | New Painting & Message

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  John 14: 27 

 

Peace I Give You | 24" x 20" acrylic on canvas 

Painted for my July 2020 Collectors Club print

Original painting available...click here.

 

“When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.” Genesis 8: 11 
 
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

 

 

In the times we are living in, there is a desperate need for peace.  As I prayed into this month’s painting, the word I kept hearing was peace.  I saw this painting in my mind as I prayed and started digging into Scripture about the elements of the composition.  The only true peace can be found in Jesus, he is the Prince of Peace.  Worldly peace isn’t sufficient, it won’t last.  No one except the Lord can bring everlasting peace.  For those abiding in him, they will have peace that surpasses understanding; an unshakable peace that keeps us grounded in times of trouble and uncertainty.  God’s peace will keep our minds and heart focused on the eternal, on hope and on God’s plans rather than the world of anxiety and fear.  God’s peace guards us from allowing the enemy into our emotional and mental state.  His peace gives us rest.  

The image I most often picture when I think of God’s peace is a white feather.  The dove is mentioned in scripture in the story of Noah, bringing an olive branch back to Noah as a sign of dry land and of new life bursting forth.  This branch signified a new season and the flood waters subsiding.  The dove and the olive branch is a symbol for peace, God’s grace, and mercy.  It feels as if we are living in the days of Noah; days of turmoil, wickedness, lawlessness, division, strife and such unrest. (read Matthew 24)  This painting is a good reminder to stay focused on God’s peace and his promise of restoration despite all we are seeing around us.   

 

We also see the dove mentioned in Jesus’ baptism.  As he comes out of the waters, the heavens open and the Spirit descends on him in the form of a dove and remains.  In this case, the dove is a symbol of God’s Spirit, which rests on Jesus, giving him the power and authority to endure his ministry mission on earth.  I found it interesting that in both of these stories the dove is mentioned, there is water present. 

 

Water is a symbol of spiritual cleansing and purification, new life through baptism.  God cleansed the earth in Noah’s time of the sin that had completely taken over, giving a new start to humanity.  I am praying for God’s cleansing power to flood the earth once again through us, his sons and daughters, who carry the power of the Holy Spirit.  John 7:38 says, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  We are agents of living waters to flow out of our lives and reach the world around us.  We are cleansed of our old sinful nature and given a new life of salvation in Christ.  Through the Holy Spirit, God gives us the power and authority to carry out his mission on this earth.  Let’s be the healing waters this world needs.  Flood the earth with his love.  Giving others the hope and peace that the world can’t offer, eternal life in Christ.

 

“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 13-14

 

I challenge you to dive deeper into Scripture with themes of water, the olive branch and God’s peace.  There is so much treasure with those themes in the Bible... please leave me a comment or your interpretation of this painting below.  I always love to hear what others see through artwork.  

 

Thank you all again for being part of my Collectors Club & anyone wanting to join.  I pray this art print encourages you during this time.

 

“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’  Numbers 6: 24-26
~
In God’s Peace, Shalom,

If you want to JOIN THE CLUB for AUGUST, please click here!

The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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Maturity | Art reflecting Spiritual Fruit & Maturity

Maturity | Art reflecting Spiritual Fruit & Maturity
"Maturity" 24 x 20 inches | acrylic on canvas
painted for my Collectors Club, June 2020
If you are interested in owning the Original Painting, click here!
~

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25

 

"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."  Hebrews 5: 14

 

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  James 1: 2-4

 

~

When praying through June’s painting, all I could see was fruit on a table, colourful and delicious looking.  I really enjoy painting fruit, so of course this was an awesome composition to see… I asked the Lord to speak to me about what this fruit means.  The first words I heard were, Mature Fruit.  He began speaking to me about spiritual maturity, spiritual fruit and how we must move into maturity as the body of Christ and individuals.  During trials and testing, we are often being pruned and challenged to repent of sinful ways so we become more mature in our walk and faith.  Our character is matured as we see in the perspective of the Spirit rather than in the flesh.  

 

The first verse most of us will think about with fruit is in Galatians, referring to spiritual fruit. 

What does it mean to bear fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become more like Him.

 

Spiritual fruit is what others see in your life.  Do you exude any of the fruits of the Spirit outlined in Galatians?  Something to think about.  I began to read about how fruit matures, here is what I found out:

 

Maturing and ripening process:

Fruits undergo numerous changes during ripening. The major changes include fruit softening, sweetening, decreased bitterness, and colour change. These changes begin in an inner part of the fruit, working its way towards outer most tissue of the fruit.  The maturing process of fruits refers to the last stage of the biological function, when they grow to the maximum size.  The best quality of fruit when harvest is done at the perfect maturity stage.  Picked and ready to eat!

 

I always find it amazing how God designed the world around us and how we can learn spiritual truths from His creation.  The parallels that were highlighted to me:

  • Fruit softening, much like our hearts
  • Becoming sweeter and less bitter, resulting as we repent of our sinful ways and fleshly desires
  • Colour changing, we become richer in tone as we mature, becoming beautiful shades of God’s masterpiece. Our character can be like colour… changing as we mature.
  • Change occurs inside the fruit towards the outside, as does in a person. We change and develop from what is in our heart and minds.  When focused on Christ and in the Word, we develop from the inside out. 

 

I hope this simple painting of fruit will be a reminder of becoming more like Jesus.  My desire is to know him more and continually develop into spiritual maturity day by day.  

 

P.S.  I also have to mention, I painted this outside on a porch in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  My parents have a place in the Okanagan where we go to, to get away and relax.  It is the most gorgeous country-side of wineries, hills and lakes.  Orchards bloom everywhere in this region.  The perfect place to paint and reflect on producing spiritual fruit, where fruit grows in abundance.  My prayer is we all grow into maturity in Christ, so we can serve others with His goodness.  It is a process that develops our entire life, as we press on towards the day we see Jesus face to face.

 

 

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained."  Philippians 3: 14-16

 

If you want to JOIN THE CLUB for AUGUST, please click here!

The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 
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"Remember" | NEW Painting | May Collectors Club 2020

"Remember" | NEW Painting | May Collectors Club 2020

"Remember" 20" x 16" acrylic on canvas

painted for the May 2020 Collectors Club 

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”  Luke 22: 19-20

“I am a Rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” Song of Songs 2:1

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2: 14-15

The original painting is available on my website...click here if you are interested.

 

May is an extra special month for me, it’s my birthday month!  When I began praying through the painting for this May, I automatically saw lily of the valley.  “Too obvious,” I thought, lily of the valley is the birthday flower for May; then I saw the flowers in a pitcher on a table with communion beside it.  That was the image so strongly impressed on my heart, I had to paint it.  I asked God for the meaning behind this still life and here’s what I heard…

We must remember the simplicity of the gospel, what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross.  The body and blood shed for our sins and the new covenant we walk in.  We ought to  partake in this remembrance daily, not just on Sundays or occasions.  This can be done in our homes with our families on a daily basis or as we feel lead.  It brings us back to the foundation of our faith and realigns our hearts.  It is life transforming.  We are the fragrance of Christ, pouring out our love for Him so others can see Christ in us.  We cannot lose our voice in this world, our life should be an aroma glorifying the Lord wherever we go.  Remember these things.

 

The lily of the valley:

Lily of the valley is the May flower meaning, “return to happiness.”  In the Bible, lily of the valley is mentioned 15 times, most often in Song of Songs. Since the flower blooms so early in springtime, in Christianity it represents the Second Coming of Christ.  In Song of Songs the flower refers to us, the bride of Christ.  We often think it’s only an image of Jesus, but in the context of this Scripture, it is describing us – the beloved.  We are the fragrance of Christ in this world.

Lily of the valley represents simplicity, purity, humility and an effortless glory of the saints. The dainty white flower hangs like a bell, sending forth it’s sweet sound.  With its head bowed, it reminds us of our posture towards our King, “Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty!” and yet he humbled himself in the lowest position as a suffering servant for our salvation and a life of abundance.

In ancient times, lily of the valley was often used as a medical remedy for a lost voice.  Say what?!  When I read that, I knew the Lord was saying, “we cannot lose our voice.”  God wants to heal those who have lost their voice for him.  We are living in a time where our voice is being threatened, being silenced and the freedom to practice our faith is being tested.  We are seeing the Christian faith being persecuted in almost every area of society.  We have to rise up with a voice of freedom and salvation.  It has been watered-down in the name of political correctness.  If we aren’t careful, it will be taken away and we will experience great persecution.  We must spread the ‘fragrance of the knowledge of him’ everywhere we go. 

The Bread and Wine:

The two elements of communion, the body and blood shed for you.  The physical action of eating and drinking is designed to remind us that we spiritually “ingest” and depend upon Jesus and the saving benefits of his life, death, and resurrection.  “Do this in remembrance of me.”

The Butterfly:

The butterfly is a symbol of transformation and resurrection power.  This beautiful little creature reminds us of a life transformed through Christ, here and now.  In him, all things are made new. 

 

I pray the month of May’s print is a reminder of the hope we have in Christ and the fragrance we carry to others.  We cannot lose our voice declaring the good news! 

“How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices. They call out together for joy, for they will see with their own eyes the return of the Lord to Zion.”  Isaiah 52:7-8

 

If you want to JOIN THE CLUB for June, please click here!
The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise
Special Edition fine art print every month! 

 

 

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Nature Sings | Original Art painted for the Collectors Club | April 2020

Nature Sings | Original Art painted for the Collectors Club | April 2020

"Nature Sings" - 24" x 20" acrylic on canvas

Collectors Club | April 2020

I had this idea months ago... create a fun way to collect meaningful artwork with a message for those who appreciate my work... out of that idea, the Collectors Club was born!  Here is a peak at my first months painting.  Thank you to all who signed up for the first month, I truly appreciate each one of you for beginning this journey with me.

The original painting is available to purchase on my website for anyone interested.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.” Psalm 96: 11-12

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8: 19

 ~

I woke up one morning with the words, “all nature sings” going through my mind.  Over and over I could hear it, like a song being sung, but it was coming from leaves swaying in the wind, as if I could see the sound. I saw art painted of leaves, with light, colour and movement of the brush strokes, all suggesting the sounds of praising and worshiping the Lord.  I heard this beautiful new sound and song, like a symphony of leaves singing to Jesus.  What if we could see nature singing?  I began to imagine what that would look like.  We can hear it if we take the time to quiet ourselves and listen.  What would it look like? 

This painting is a response to that morning.  God has been speaking to me a lot right now to pay attention to nature and what we can learn about His Kingdom from the creation around us.  It glorifies and testifies of Him. "The heavens declare the glory of God", says Psalm 19.  We can join in this praise and song of thanksgiving like David did in the psalms, just by seeing the beautiful things he has made around us.

I actually heard the Holy Spirit tell me that nature “gets it” more than we do at times.  I felt convicted of how often I forget to worship and praise him no matter what season or circumstances I am in.  The leaves do, so I should too. 

Then I heard the Lord speak to me about how nature responds to him and he showed me in this vision upon waking, what that looks like.  Nature follows God’s times and season; nature has a cycle of growth, lying dormant, sprouting, blossoming and dying according to its kind.  I began to see what God was showing me, how we too must learn to tune into the season we are in, individually, corporately, the “time and season” on the earth we are living in and hear what he is saying to us, how to react and move accordingly, all the while remembering to take the time to praise Him.

This all happened at the end of February/ early March… I painted “Nature Sings” in response to what I was hearing and seeing.  Little did I know when I painted this (I planned it to be my first Collectors Club print!) that we would enter into such a time of unknown, of so many questions about what is happening in the world, about this virus, about our economy, future of schools and businesses, etc.  I believe God was preparing me for this time and praise Him in the midst of it.  Take the time to re-focus what matters most; family, the beauty of nature, slowing down from busyness and breathe in His presence and listen.  We are entering spring time – God’s natural time of budding and blossoming… as you see the green sprout around you, take time to listen to the leaves singing.  Praise and worship the Lord no matter what is going on around you.  It’s the perfect time to reflect and re-align with God’s promises and purposes for his sons and daughters to arise with a new sound!  All of creation is waiting for us.

Thank you again for all my collectors, I pray this blesses you & speaks to your heart. 

“Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1 

~

If you want to JOIN THE CLUB for May, please click here!

The Collectors Club is a monthly membership receiving a surprise

Special Edition fine art print every month! 

 

 

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