Monthly Archives: January 2009

God’s amazing creation: the HORSE



Emily is my beautiful 8 year old daughter who dreams of being an HGTV star someday!  She has taken a great interest in architecture, interior design, and drawing, as well as reading, writing and ‘rithmetic!  haha! 

She came home from school today and presented me with this beautiful drawing of a horse.  We learned how to ride a few years ago, but it’s been awhile since either of us have been on horseback.  Emily has a real knack for it.  The first time I saw her trot on a horse I was filled with joy and couldn’t stop laughing.  She was 6 at the time.  To see a 50 lb. 6 year old trotting a 1200 lb. quarterhorse is a real delight!  But it was also nerve wracking at the same time!  My gut was screaming, ” HANG ON EMILY!”  All the while I was laughing.  I know how much fun it is, but I also know how much it hurts to fall off!

Have you ever thought about horses?  They are one of the biggest creatures we come in contact with, can tame and ride.  They weigh 1200 lbs., some less, some more, and thier legs are like little spindles.  Those legs hold up all of that weight!  I would imagine that the leg bones would have to be quite large, much like ours are.  But the really cool thing is that horses eat grass, hay & oats and they weigh 1200 lbs!!!!!!  They don’t eat meat, or junk food like we do.  It absolutely amazes me that they can stay sustained on what they eat.  Have you ever gotten down on the ground and really watched a horses mouth work while he was mowing the grass?  It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  It twitches back and forth and it is mesmerizing to watch.  The skin on thier chin is as soft as a baby’s.    All you horse lovers can relate!   The other thing is that their eyes are on the sides of thier heads.  Yes, the sides.  Not in front.  God created them that way so they can see their predators coming.  No, horses are NOT dumb, as I have heard some people claim them to be.  I was riding a friend’s quarterhorse one time and the horse knew that the saddle was loose before I did.  Of course I fell off, but she( the horse)  tried to tell me so I would get off, but I didn’t know what she was telling me because I was the dumb one!   When the ride is over, the horse definitely knows the way back to the barn, sweaty, smelly, thirsty and tired!  What a delight it is to enjoy God’s beautiful animals!  Thank you Lord!



Get out now


Hi!   Here is an updated version of the previous drawing.  Ink and pencil.  I think adding the bold words gives it more power.   

The second drawing is of James and John, the Sons of Thunder! 

Please share your thoughts!

Have a blessed day!




Get OUT!!!!



John 2:16 (The Message)

 15-17    Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”

I am doing the Beth Moore Bible Study, with a group of women from my church, called ” The Beloved Disciple.”  It is a study of John’s life, family and calling from God.  Last night Beth talked about Jesus having an ” Indiana Jones” moment in the temple with the merchants.  Of course, if you have seen any Indiana Jones movies, that gives you a great visual!  Well, I was surprised because I never noticed that scripture says that Jesus put together a whip!  I have never even imagined Jesus with any type of weapon, especially not a whip, the very thing that tore his flesh to pieces.  It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it?  To me this shows his love for His Father’s House.  He was not going to let anyone trample on it or demean it in anyway.  Nor should we.  Whether it’s our church, or our body, I think that both are temples that deserve respect and love.    After rereading the scripture in several versions, I began to realize how angry Jesus was.  I think my drawing depicts his anger well.  He is so mad, he is spitting!  The tables are turned and the doves are loose.  Money crashes to the ground.  He does NOT want them there. 


Here is a close up of his face.  I, for one, do not want to experience the fury of God.  I could not go to sleep last night until I had started this drawing.  I finished it this morning, along with another one that I will share tomorrow.  The Sons of Thunder!  God is so amazing!  He keeps showing me through these little sketches how important using VISUALS in teaching really is.  How many times have I read this and not really gotten it until NOW?  He was MAD!  Righteous anger.  If you are a teacher, a pastor, a youth leader, a parent, I would like to encourage you to use art in your teachings.  It really has a powerful impact on the message!

In Christ’s Peace,


Resurrection 2009





Justin Lookadoo with Corynn and Friends

Justin Lookadoo with Corynn and Friends

My daughter, Corynn, recently went to RESURRECTION in Gatlinburg, TN with our church youth group.   Here she is with the speaker, Justin Lookadoo, and her friends.  It looks like they had a great time!  Justin was a juvenile probation officer, he is bilingual, has a biology degree, is an award winning author and LOVES TO TALK!  Can’t you tell that he is fun just by looking at him!!???

He graduated from Tarleton State University, where he spent a lot of time studying the body, especially how it works and how drugs and chemicals can mess up your insides as well as how gender differences impact the development of the human brain. He talks about drugs, not as someone who has tried them (he hasn’t), but as a biologist who knows the truth behind all of the myths. Justin breaks down the complicated jargon into bite-size pieces that are easy to understand.  To read more on Justin click the link:

They stayed at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg.

And they saw Starfield!


Shoebox Kids 2


This is Adricia, she is 3 years old.  She sang at her church on Christmas Day and this is the dress she wore.  Isn’t she a beautiful child of God!!!!!  Marvelously and wonderfully made by God.  Bless your obedience Adricia, I love you! 

Mama Donna

Adricia Randrianasolo on Christmas Day 2008
Adricia Randrianasolo on Christmas Day 2008

 We received our letter in the Spring of 2008.  It was very exciting and brought many emotions to my heart.  I raced around showing everyone the letter.  I couldn’t believe that we really got one!  I wanted the world to know that GOD does answer prayers and he DOES work through these little Shoeboxes.  This was my first experience with them and I couldn’t contain myself.  I still can’t.  Well, when we got the letter, it explained that Fred lived in the city of Andranofasika, Madagascar, and he had access to e-mail there.  So I sent him an email.  It took awhile, but I did get one back in a few weeks.  Fred explained to me that he lived in the city, about 100 miles from his tiny village where his sisters and brothers live with his parents.  It is so tiny there is no mail service there.  So, whatever I sent to them would have to go to Fred and then he would take it to them the next time he went to the village.  We communicated via email through the year of 2008, sending photo’s and notes to the children. 

Here is a photo of Fred’s parents.  They are rice farmers.  They have to pay for each child’s schooling and it is not an easy life.  A box of crayons in Africa costs $5!  So, for them to even be able to send us a letter was pretty amazing.  The cost of the stamp, the paper, etc.  Those are things that we take for granted.  Don’t we?   I am inspired to draw or paint Fred’s mother.  There is something about her that speaks to my heart.  The way she wears her shawl, how beautiful it is, despite the conditions they live in she is a proud woman.  She is a picture of Christ to me.  That is little Adricia behind her, just grinning, barely clothed.  What a difference from the dress in the picture before!  I think the dress and shoes are very, very, special and will be cherished for a very long time to come.  The material hanging in the doorway also intrigues me.  It looks like it has clouds and birds woven into it.  Interesting.   Dad looks thin and tired.   My prayers are with you…May God hold you near and dear to His heart. 




Here are the children holding some of the things that were in their shoeboxes.  They are ALL holding the walnut cross that was made in my woodshop.  I love this picture because it shows me how we are all united by the cross that Jesus died on.  One thing I want to share is that I had a lot of help in making that cross.  One friend gave me the wood, and another friend gave me a really nice gift of a scrollsaw last year, so that I could cut the cross.  The cross was prayed over by our SS class, and it has many of our church members fingerprints on it.  Fingerprints of God.  When the kids found out that “we” had made the cross, they ALL wanted it.  So this year I was able to send them each a cross of their own.  They ALL send their thanks to our entire congregation!  They love you all very much and pray for you each day. 

But the most amazing thing about this story is how they got this year’s box!  God is so very good!  I wanted to send them another Shoebox for Christmas and I emailed Fred and asked him the best way to send it.  Well, he emailed me back ( God IS IN THE TECHNOLOGY!) and told me that Luke Dollar could bring it.  He sent me Luke’s address.  When I looked at it I was startled.  It was less than 2 hours from here.  He was home for Christmas and he lives in NC, near Charlotte!!!!       So, I was able to send this huge box of stuff to NC for Luke to take to Madagascar.  It would have cost me an arm and a leg to send it from here to Madagascar.  So I was very thankful that God had provided transportation for the box.  I just think it is amazing at how God works.  He is working all the time, all we have to do is WAKE UP to it!  So, the children got thier box and were VERY ELATED !  Fred sent me a note saying how much they loved it.  God is so good, so very good.  PRAISE GOD!

I would like to encourage my readers to get involved in the Shoebox Ministry.  It will change your heart forever.  The Shoeboxes reached 8 million children last year!  That’s 8 MILLION CHILDREN that have received the GOSPEL through a SHOEBOX in ONE YEAR!  Our work is NOT done, there are still many, many people who have not heard about Jesus.  Filling a Shoebox will help YOU be a missionary!  So, please check it out today! 

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.

May you be blessed and BE A BLESSING to someone else!

In Christ’s all consuming love,


Shoebox Kids

Madagascar Shoebox kids
Madagascar Shoebox kids

 My family and I have been blessed to be able to work with Samaritan’s Purse and the Shoebox Ministry through our church.  2007 was our first experience with sending shoeboxes to needy children across the world.  In 2008 we received a reply from one of the families that got our shoeboxes.  We were so excited!  Today, I would like to share this amazing journey with you.  God has been gracious enough to allow us to remain in contact with one another over the past year, and God allowed us to send them another box this Christmas via a friend in N.C., who was traveling back to Madagascar to do research for National Geographic.   Below you will read about the amazing story and how God has worked in our lives, to bring us together, as a family, across the world.  We love these children dearly, even though we have never met in person, we are united by Christ’s love.   It is amazing what the body of Christ can do through His Love and our obedience.  It is our hope to one day meet this family and be united in person. 

Here you see the children with their box.  In the background you see the home they live in and some of the adults in thier family.  Thier house has a thatch roof, which is in need of repair.  I received a letter from Fred, the children’s older brother who lives in the city and writes to me via email.  He said that it is now the rainy season and the roof will not hold up.  He has bought his parents a huge tarp to cover the roof, but they need permanent repairs done.  I thought about starting a fund to help them, if anyone wants to donate financially to the roof repairs on thier home.  I do not know what it will cost, but I will find out. 

They live in Madagascar which is an island off the East coast of Africa.  Here is a map, and Fred lives near the red star.  The children are in a very remote viillage about 100 miles away.  Fred helps his family as much as he can.  He attends school and he does research for Luke Dollar, who is a conservation scientist for National Geographic.  They study the LEMUR.   In the next picture you will see FRED with a Lemur on his back. 

For more info on Luke Dollar’s passion please visit this site:




This website will tell you all you need to know about how to fill a Shoebox for a needy child.

Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.

Look for more on this family soon!








John 5
John 5


I drew this after hearing an awesome message on Sunday morning from Sue Ward!  She spoke about the lame man at the pool from the book of John.  She pointed out that he had been there for 38 years.  Yes, scripture says  38 years!  Can you imagine lying around for 38 years and never getting that extra “umpf” to get to the pool?  He was right next to it!  It’s sad.

But…the good news is that Jesus never gave up on that man.  All that man needed was some encouragement from Jesus.  ” GET UP!”  We all need that from time to time and that man waited for 38 years to hear those words. 


38 years!!!!!!!! 

Sue also talked about how important it is to be in fellowship with GOD as well as one another.  God places people in our lives for certain reasons.  Some for encouragement, some for prayer, some for teaching and some to tell us to “GET UP!”  The hard part of that is the telling and the listening.  Sometimes the truth can seem hard and harsh, but if we really examine ourselves and have friends that truly love us and want what God wants, then we will listen and it is only then that God can change us.  We have to have willing hearts. 



When I am working on a drawing there are many changes made before I am happy with the final piece.  I go through erasers like crazy.  But I don’t quit.  I just keep making changes until I think it looks the way it should.  God is like this too.  He refines us, molds us, breaks us, remolds us, over and over again.  He never quits.  We are the ones who quit.  Not Him.  We get hard hearted, broken spirited, depressed, or whatever, when things don’t go the way we think they should.  But what we don’t realize is that maybe we need to grow more, learn more, love more.  Once we do that, then maybe what we wanted in the first place, will come to fruition.  We begin to see God more clearly in the refining process and we start to want what He wants.       I have the hardest time throwing my little scraps of sketches away because there’s an idea there that I may use one day.  I have tons of sketchbooks filled with ideas.  I refer to them often.  I think this is how God is too.  He refuses to throw any of His creation away because it’s ALL very good.  We are the ones who mess it up!  He never runs out of paint , or ink and his brushes never wear because He is the Almighty!   He continues to lay his brushstrokes gently against the canvas of our lives, adding here, removing there.        Creating His masterpieces out of Love!  Yes, we are all masterpieces, DaVinci’s, Leonard’s and Michelangelo’s.  They all worked with vigor and passion to reach excellence, just as God does with us.  No matter how many years it takes, even 38, He never puts down His paintbrush.  So, just as the lame man, rose to perfection, so will we!  Thank you Sue for the wonderful message! 

Great art is something that when you experience it,

it lifts you out of yourself,

puts you in another dimension,

and places you back down

T R A N S F O R M E D!

Sister Wendy Beckett

Have a Blessed Day Being HIS! 



Snakes and Ladders



Linda, Donna, Emily

Linda, Donna, Emily

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the new Taubman Art Museum in Roanoke.  The building itself is a work of art!  It looks like it could take off at any minute!  Beautiful!  Shiny, bright stainless steel with a lot of glass!  Unusual for Roanoke and it makes quite a statement as you are zooming down 581.  It makes you turn your head and say, ” what the heck is that?”  It is located in a little corner between the RR tracks and the market in the square.  The corner itself could be a haven of artistic opportunity, with the RR passing by, the architectural elements of the bridge overhead and the graffitti passing by on the traincars.  Art is everywhere just as God is!  

We ate lunch in Norah’s cafe inside the Taubman.  Emily was quite taken by the whole experience.  She is going to be our next HGTV designer!  She loved the clean white plastic egg shaped chairs with thier clean stainless steel legs.  They were saying, ” sit down, relax, enjoy a meal.”  The tables were square and many.  They were made of stainless steel with a diamond pattern etched into the top.  Very industrial, yet classy.  When our food arrived it came on simple, yet elegant square white plates.  Emily loved them and now she is after me to get some for our house!  Watching her was much like what I imagine God sees when he watches us in our delight.  She was overcome with sheer joy.  I think she has the artist gene!   As we sat at our table, we could watch the train pass by, people walking on the bridge, cars buzzing to and fro.  Life. 

Our lunch was delicious, but for me the dessert was the museum!  I was already drooling, just being in the building!  haha!  We walked up the curving stairs, which were made of this beautiful frosted glass and blondewood.  Very beautiful.  I won’t tell you about all the little surprises here and there because I want you to visit the museum and experience them yourselves.  Some weird, some thought provoking, others just plain fun!  I felt like a little kid again!  I was in my element.  I couldn’t wait to get to each display to discover what was waiting there.  Sometimes I had to go BACK and look again!  This painting, by William Rutherfoord, titled “Snakes and Ladders” was one of those things.  I am stumped by what it means and I would like to know your thoughts on it.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders


Here is what I see…a church with three open windows, a priest dressed in black, holding an umbrella standing in a green shadow.  In the right corner is what appears to be the Tower of Babel and the left corner a pair of dice, one black, one white, each with a different color dot,  on a shield.  The roof of the church has a target o it and then this genetic code looking ladder going to the sky.  The background is filled with pie and ravens.  The steeple shows two bells, ringing?  In the lower left corner it says “adder.”    I am sure there is a message here, I am just not sure what it is.  I wish the art museums would include the artist’s explanation of things mean!   This one has provided me with much wonderment. 

Jesus Saves

Jesus Saves

Why? Well, I love church architecture.  It takes much planning and designing, much thought and engineering.  The church reminds me of God, it brings me to people who help me to grow and keep me on the right track.  Even the wood on the old church buildings remind me of Jesus Christ and when I see the weathered wood, I think of the cross that Jesus struggled to carry…and then die on.    So, my question in regards to this painting, is why would anyone paint a target on the roof of a church?  That seems obscene to me.  To me, it is like painting a target on our Lord.  I know the church is just a building, but it also brings us together for one cause, the cause of Christ.  It is an important part of my life.  Could it be too important?  hmmm.  I wonder.  More important than Christ?  I never thought about it before. 

 If you have been following Pastor Ronnie’s blog,

you will see that our kids went to Resurrection this weekend.  The message from Justin Lookadoo was from Revelations 3 saying …  “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. “  ( MSG) Am I stale? Stagnant? Cold?   It also says, Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” ( MSG) The Wind Words, I like that.  It makes me see God blowing His wisdom on us, weaving in and out of us.  It tells us to LISTEN, not once, but TWICE.  I pray that I am. 


This painting also shows what i think is the genetic code, going upward.  WHAT is it saying?  Are the pies supposed to be humble pie, blackbird pie, pie in the face, what????  The priest is holding an umbrella so that ( I think) he won’t get slathered with the pie.  And how about the open windows?  Do they represent the Trinity?  Or do they represent God blowing His wisdom on us?  There are four windows, but only three are open.  And how about that Tower of Babel?  God put a stop to the construction of it by changing the one language to many languages.  Everyone hearing something different in thier ears.  Are we hearing the same thing or something different?  Hmmmm.

At any rate, this painting has caused much self reflection and thought.  Take a look at it and share your comments with me.  I am curious to know what you think.  If you are ever in Roanoke, delight your artistic self and visit the Taubman Art Museum!  It is well worth the drive and time.    Donna


Psalm 139



I was asked this question the other day….

” Do you really BELIEVE that God loves me?”

My reply?

” YES I do!”


Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I’d even lived one day.

( MSG) Psalm 139:16-17