Monthly Archives: January 2013

Elijah being fed by the ravens…

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In AWE of ALL that GOD is doing!  Most of you know I met Maria a month or so ago. She lives  in Pakistan and God has brought us together through FB.  I was telling her brother ( pictured here) that I had been reading about Elijah and doing some paintings.  I couldn’t get my painting to post to his FB page so I told him to tell Maria to read about Elijah in 1 Kings and to draw what she sees.  Well, this is the result…

This is what her brother said:  PASTOR DONNA MY SISTER MARIA MAKE THE ELIJAH PICTURE SHE IS MUCH HAPPY TO MAKE THIS PICTURE MARIA IS GET THE BLESSING OF GOD WHEN SHE MAKE THE PICTURE AMEN!!!!

Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t ever put God in a box- he can work wonders and miracles from anyplace, through anything and through anyone.  Do not underestimate God.  These two special people work with the children in Pakistan and God is using each of us to teach the other about WHO HE is and HOW He works.  The children will receive a blessing from Maria’s obedient heart in drawing what God has given her to draw!  They will learn about God through her artwork.  Amazing ! amazing!  amazing!  
God is real, He is ALIVE and He speaks through and to each of us.  It is my prayer that all who see the WORD of GOD through this painting will come to know who Elijah was and all that he did for the Kingdom of God.  In knowing Elijah they will meet Jesus.  I pray that the children in Pakistan will receive the LOVE of CHRIST through the viewing of this work.  I pray that their hearts will be turned inside out for God and that they will run for God just as Elijah did when he outran Ahab’s chariot.  Make their feet fiery and their hands filled with love Lord.  I claim this victory in the great and mighty name of JESUS our Savior. Amen.

I am so blessed…..

 

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Elijah Is Fed by Ravens

17 Elijah was from Tishbe in the land of Gilead. He said to Ahab, “I serve the Lord. He is the God of Israel. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that there won’t be any dew or rain on the whole land. There won’t be any during the next few years. It won’t come until I say so.”

2 Then a message from the Lord came to Elijah. It said, 3 “Leave this place. Go east and hide in the Kerith Valley. It is east of the Jordan River. 4 You will drink water from the brook. I have ordered some ravens to feed you there.”

5 So Elijah did what the Lord had told him to do. He went to the Kerith Valley. It was east of the Jordan River. He stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning. They also brought him bread and meat in the evening. He drank water from the brook.

Are you ready?

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Genesis 3: 20-24

Paradise Lost: God’s Judgment

20 Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.[d]21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings[e] have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

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Ok, so you ask, where does this come from?  it just does.  God puts it in my brain and it winds up here.  My art is unpredictable at best.  It ranges from fairy tale to realism to flat to moving to just plain out there.  That’s what I love about it.  It’s a wild card! 

If you are familiar with Dave Ramsey he has two categories of people- nerds and free spirits.  Guess which one I am?  LOL 

FREE SPIRIT

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I was listening to Misty Edwards as I was working on this.  At times I was quiet and other times I was listening to several of her songs.  As I started the flames I was listening to “ People Get Ready.”

I wanted to paint the flames but didn’t want to “wreck” the painting because it felt weird.  What were the flames about anyway?   I didn’t know so I just submitted and went with it.  This whole surrender thing is getting kind of fun.  Anyway- as I did the tree I was thinking about the tree of life and as I did the  leaves I kept hearing the word “abundance”.   I was thinking of the leaves on the tree as people entering heaven and heaven was getting full.  The tree was abundant with color and life. I felt like time was nearing.

The flames came next and they were fun.  I really got into rolling the brush and laying the color on thick.  I left an opening at the bottom so that you could enter into the painting yourself.  It’s saying, “come in, take a drink…” 

The water was last and I worked hard to get it to look like it was rolling out of the tree.  It was fun to paint and I hope you dare to dip your toe in and join me here in Paradise.  The flames are coming off of the sword that is guarding the way to the tree of life.  The tree is glowing and ready .  Are you?

 

Arise!

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Is God telling you to do something?  Does it seem strange, or doubtful that you will be able to do this “thing” that God is talking to you about?  Do you want to just lay down and say, “no, not me Lord.  Just take me away from it, I’m no good and I can’t do this?” 

God will not relent until you surrender to Him, so you might as well quit pouting and start embracing what God is asking of you.  The sooner you do the more exciting your life will get!

Just ask me.  LOL

I am one of the most unlikely people to do what I am doing.  I had a high school friend tell me what a shocker it was when she found out I was pastoring a church.  Do you know what I said?  “ Don’t feel like you are alone in that thought- I nearly fainted.”  LOL 

But here’s the thing- when God lays something on your heart-He’s not going to quit poking, prodding or sending angels to take care of you until His will is accomplished!  YOU are the only person who can do that particular job for that time.  If you don’t believe me- read Esther.

It’s not about us-but the GOD who lives in US.  We are vessels where the Spirit of God lives and when the Spirit gets stirred up-God will see it through.  It’s just easier to be on the same page with God. 

So, if there’s something that he is asking you to do-stop, drop and pray and then LISTEN.

God is always with you, He is always guiding and leading you and all he wants for us is good.

Take some time to read about Elijah in 1 Kings 18-19.  Take notes. See what happens and ask God to reveal the Holy scriptures to you in a way that YOU can hear Him and know that he IS God.  Happy reading and praying!  God is definitely at work in these passages and in this painting.  He has already spoken to a few of you …thanks for letting me know….

WOW!

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1 Kings 19: 1- 16

Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and [a](A)how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “(B)So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your [b]life as the [c]life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And he[d]was afraid and arose and ran for his [e]life and came to (C)Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a [f]juniper tree; and (D)he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my [g]life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 5 He lay down and slept under a [h]juniper tree; and behold, there was (E)an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” 6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food (F)forty days and forty nights to (G)Horeb, the mountain of God.

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, (H)the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “(I)I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, (J)torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And (K)I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

11 So He said, “(L)Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And (M)a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire (N)a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, (O)he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, (P)a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 Then he said, “(Q)I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

15 The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, (R)you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and (S)Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and (T)Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.

The Broom tree

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Over the weekend we attended Rez 2013.  While there we heard the story of Elijah pouting under the broom tree.  ( 1 Kings 19)  Since being home I have heard about Elijah half a dozen times through other people.  It’s amazing when God wants you to “get” His message-he never relents.  I’m not done with this painting yet and it actually started out as something totally different.  No surprise there, right?  God always gets His way when I surrender.  I’m still learning how to do that.  Even with the paintbrush.  It’s harder than you might think.  There are times when I want to whip it all across the room because I don’t “get” what God is trying to say through what I am creating.  A lot of times I don’t even like it, but those are the times that I am reminded that I am making it about me and not Him.  THAT’S the tough part. 

Here you see the fire, the whirlwind, the cave entrance (use your imagination) the broom tree, Elijah, the angel, bread, water and God’s small voice.  The tree and angel are small to show the BIGness of God.  As I was painting I felt like God was saying to me, “  Donna, Elijah couldn’t see the life but I know you can.  It’s in the tree-in the leaves and the colors.  Those are my people.  Go get them.”   I began to weep as I painted and then I heard God say

“ Donna, I am with you always…be of good courage and do not fear the world.”

I think Elijah and I are a lot alike.  He was moping and saying he was the only one left doing the work and he just wanted to die.  I don’t want to die and I know I’m not the only doing the work, but I do want to quit on a daily basis.  It would be easier to stay home and paint all day long-but if I didn’t have the passion of the message in my heart then what would I paint about ?   It’s my life.   So, there you have it.  Just embrace it and rise to the challenge.  God told Elijah to ARISE and He’s telling us the same thing.

The other thing is that we all want to hear from God and we imagine Him speaking in a big booming voice that is audible and easy to hear.  ( At least I do!)  But that’s not the case either.   Elijah was looking for him everywhere EXCEPT in the stillness.  Honestly- that is when I hear God the most-in the quiet hours of the morning before the world awakes and things get noisy.  For instance this morning I was asking God what to do about a certain situation and he told me.  He brought the scripture from Luke 10:30-40 to my mind.  So I looked it up.  My answer was in verse 37:  ( the Good Samaritan)

37 The expert said, “The one who was kind enough to help him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and imitate his example!”

I was also made aware that I needed to be more like Mary and less like Martha. Martha was worried about all the work she had to do ALONE because Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet.   It’s not about the work-but about WHOSE Presence we host.  When we sit with Jesus we become like Him.  I want to be just like Him- don’t you?  We spend time with Him so that we CAN ARISE and serve mercy to those in need around us.   WE can’t do it- but HE can through us. 

Do you know the story of Elijah?  If not, maybe it’s time to read it.  Just as Elijah stood in the cave entrance and waited for God- I am waiting also.  My arms are stretched to the heavens ( and this will be my next painting)  and my body is straining and trembling to reach as high as I am able. ( I really need to relax)    My voice is saying, “ take me higher, Lord….”    He’s going to come when I least expect it and when He does it will be like a ride on a whirlwind. 

Maybe I’ll get to meet Elijah…

I can’t wait.

The wave

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Psalm 42:7

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;

all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

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That’s my little beach house ( an old wooden church) inside the wave-on the beach of Oahu-the place where I was born.

Uncle Harold

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As a child my sister and I  spent many hours and miles in the back seat of the family car traveling back and forth from NY to Virginia to Granny’s house in Fauquier County.   “ Mooommmmm…she’s on my side…tell her to move over…”  We would count the colors of cars and play silly word games.       I can remember groaning from my side of the back seat as we listened to Johnny Cash ( and others) on the radio for those 365 miles!  My mother would sing and Dad would drive.  ( They thought we weren’t paying attention, but we were…. LOL)  I forgot how much I loved Johnny Cash until a friend posted something about him earlier tonight.  Johnny Cash reminds me of my Uncle Harold.  He loved Johnny Cash and I loved my Uncle! 

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I sat here the other night and listened to Corynn tell my parents her Nicaragua stories and I thought of Uncle Harold.  I even said to my Mom, “ Uncle Harold would have gotten a big kick out Corynn- she’s just like him!”  Isn’t that amazing how someone your child has never known can be such a big part of who they are?  That’s God for ya….

Anyway- this one’s for Mom and her favorite brother Harold….they used to ride around in the car and talk.  She’d eat twinkies and drink Pepsi and he would drink a can of Budweiser in a brown paper bag and smoke Marlboro cigarettes.  I loved hearing his stories and my heart misses my Uncle Harold.   

This one’s for you Bones…can’t wait to see you again….

 

Color Burst

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Hi!

It’s a rainy day but it’s not Monday. LOL  It’s Tuesday and more rain is coming.

Thank God for rain!

I met some friends today for coffee and breakfast.  It’s always good to be with friends on rainy days because they have a way of bringing the color out of the gray clouds!

We circled the globe through color…

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We ended up in several places…the Garden of Eden…

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the shores of a tropical island…

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picking wild flowers filled with color…

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and looking at brightly colored trees with leaves filled with life…

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We went through the color wheel in the fabric shop…

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Color is everywhere…

seek to find it!  ( Especially on rainy days!) 

What a weeeeek!!!!!!!!!!!

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These are my new friends Maria and Joel.  They live in Pakistan and are doing the work of the Lord there.  We met through FB and I found out that Maria, Joel’s sister, is an artist.  So I began sharing my artwork with her via FB.  In this picture is a drawing that Maria drew from one of my drawings.  I am blown away at how God works when we share what God has put in us to share with others.  This is a picture of children receiving communion from Christ.  I am praying that Maria and Joel will use it in service to teach the children in Pakistan about what it means to not only receive communion but to be IN COMMUNION with Christ in their daily walk. 

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This was my drawing. 

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I am amazed.

This is only the beginning of something that God is blossoming in my heart.  He is also using the members of my church to share God with folks that I would never meet.

Here is how….

Many years ago a friend of mine started making deer antler crosses.  He gave me one that I cherished.  I went on a mission trip and gave mine away to a woman who was making glass bead fish necklaces for missionaries.  She was my pastor’s first Slovakian convert.  Her name was Marta.  My friend who makes the deer antler crosses name is Martin.  Funny huh?  Anyway- I wanted another necklace and he didn’t have anymore antlers to make any.  So, I had antlers and figured out how to make one for myself.  Well, once a few people saw the one I made- it grew from there.  Pretty soon I was making more.  The last bunch went to Israel with a group of people who were visiting the Holy Land. 

Well, I have always given away the things that I make-it just comes natural for me.  I don’t feel like I am supposed to hang onto things too long.  I always pray over things as I am working on them.  The HS is always speaking- even in the middle of the cutting, sanding and cleaning up.  We just have to tune in.  At Christmas I gave one of my church members an antler cross and he loved it.  So he brought me antlers to make more.  Well, he works in a lumber mill and during lunch he reads his bible.  All the guys know this.  He has started showing and giving away these deer antler crosses to the guys he works with.  He told me that the guys know he reads his bible and who he is in God- a man of faith.  But he said what is happening with the crosses are that they are opening a door for conversation that a bible wasn’t able to.  It is sharing your faith-what is in your heart- through the act of creating something and then giving it away in the name of the Lord.  Here is a picture of one of the crosses.  Now the guys are asking for more so they can share and conversations about God are being had that weren’t being had before.  These are big, burly lumber men that I would never meet.  But my church member works with them everyday and He is making disciples in a new way.  It’s exciting and it is something to shout a praise to God for! 

 

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My church member also brought me some freshly cut lumber last week.  Hickory.  It is beautiful.  Yesterday I made this cross for his boss.  ( see below)

The cross is hickory and the base piece is wormy chestnut.  The wormy chestnut came from the church member’s home-actually from his wife’s father’s home.

Well, I gave the piece to him today to give to his boss.  I told him where each piece came from because he didn’t recognize the wormy chestnut since it had been cut and sanded.  When he heard what I said, his eyes got big around and he said, “you just don’t know…”

and I didn’t.

It turns out that the wormy chestnut belonged to his father in law and his father in law had a lot to do with teaching HIS BOSS about who God was and is! 

I didn’t know that when I made it and I actually put the base on as an afterthought…or was that the work of the Holy Spirit?   So the circle continues through these pieces of wood.

Call me crazy, but whatever it is- it’s all about GOD and I love how He works in the mysterious and how He always AFFIRMS the visions he gives us and when we listen, obey, and walk-He does the rest. 

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I have seen a man come to life and get excited about going to work and sharing God through the giving of deer antlers and wooden crosses.  It tickles me to watch and I know that God is smiling and cheering us on because I can feel His Spirit with us. 

Through reading the book BORN to CREATE by Theresa Dedmon I have had my eyes opened to something spectacular that God wants to do through our the use of our talents and gifts.   He IS our creative spirit.  We ALL Have one.  Some of you are saying “ I can’t, I don’t, I don’t know how.”  But here’s the thing – “you DO, you CAN and let me SHOW you how!”  This isn’t about me-it’s about the Holy Spirit working in and through the Body of Christ to get God’s message out to the world in a new and creative way.  Jesus gave of Himself- and we are called to do the same when we use our talents and work in the gifts of the spirit to share them with the world.  We are not hang onto them- they are given to build up the body and this is what I see happening.  God’s WORD is TRUTH.

God has given me a vision for a new ministry and ever since he laid it on my heart he has been affirming it every step of the way.  Through His Word,  people, dreams and circumstances. 

Today I BELIEVE.

Thank you Lord.  Forgive me for doubting, forgive me for looking backwards and thank you for showing me more than once.  Let’s do this thing! 

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