Monday, January 31, 2011

Not everyone gets you, but God does.

This was made apparent to me as I shared my newest revelation from God to a few people.  The reaction was not "Oh wow that is so amazing! God is gonna do an amazing work for his kingdom!"  but rather a lot of awkward stares that felt like "Okay this chick is CRAZY."  But God knows my heart better than any person on this earth and so I take comfort in that.

This first month of 2011 has been amazing.  It just goes to show when you really devote your time to the things of God rather than the things of this world he will reveal unimaginable things to you.  I have just been burdened with a new found passion and hunger for his word, God has already done such a great work in me, I just can't wait to see what he does next.  I'm just so ready and for the first time I feel that I am sincerely willing to let God use me it really is the sweetest feeling in the world.

I am just reminded today that here in America we know nothing about what it really means to be a Christian and to truly be persecuted.

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan, has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Pray that this woman be released unharmed, and that her faith and love of God be strengthened in this time.

Oh God how far we have fallen, Lord give us a passion for what burdens your heart.

[Revelation 2:4-5]

   4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

ARTISTS WANTED 2010 Please Support by Voting

I have the wonderful opportunity to be in this contest ArtistsWanted 2010.  I am hoping this will help me in my journey to reach my calling of being a missionary photographer.  Please help me out by voting every 24 hours until Feb. 4th. Here is the link:

Alexandria Quinn Artists Wanted Portfolio

Please also pray that God would use this opportunity for the glory of his kingdom in the days to come.  If you like my work, or have questions please feel free to comment or ask me.  You can also find me on facebook at A. Quinn Photography.

[Mark 9:35]

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Lord, let me be your servant.


Friday, January 28, 2011

God breaks your heart to build you up.

I've been reading through the book of Acts for the past two weeks.  I'm only on Chapter 7.

You really can't begin to understand how much you don't know until you start digging in deep.  I am so amazed at the words I am reading and its just so surprising to me that I didn't know, and no one told me.  Growing up my parents didn't really teach me about God, what I knew was from friends and the occasional church camp I went to.  Even church camps didn't really teach me what I needed to know.  And in high school when I was old enough to drive myself or have someone drive me to church, the teachings I sat under were really all surface stuff, no depth, no meat.  Do people just think teenagers can't handle it? Weren't the disciples young too? And they were the ones that Jesus called, the ones who went after him.

I'm working on a new piece of work, a painting that I've been slaving over for the past three days and I have to say that it has literally brought me to tears.  At one point God was just showing me how many souls are lost forever...I saw their faces, heard their silent yet deafening cries of anguish, painted their anonymous faces, frozen forever in pain and fire rising...and I wept.  I have never cried over my artwork before, I have never felt such a heaviness emanate from something I've made.  It just goes to show what happens when you seek out God's voice and wait for his gentle voice to whisper to you.

Everyday God is breaking my heart again and again, bringing a deeper love for his people.

I feel like the 21 day fast that I took part in at the beginning of the year has really made me sensitive to His Holy Spirit since I constantly seem to be crying now.

Flyleaf - Circle
I was listening to this song in the car and it just made me teary.  This Flyleaf album has really made a huge impact, it is so outspoken about their faith in Jesus Christ.  I just love that they are taking their own talents to a new level, the lyrics and allegory of their songs are amazing.

Work Of Art-Remixed
This is a facebook group challenge that I have been in since August 2010.  Its based loosely on the actual reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.  I am in the final two and the deadline to submit our final pieces is coming up so check it out.  I will be uploading a photograph of the painting I mentioned above on Feb. 8th.

I leave you with this:

[Psalm 51:17]

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You can't ignore true reality...

...once you've sen the light.

Last night while speaking with a friend she mentioned that there was a show on TBN about some missionaries who travel around the world.  The show was called Travel the Road, and the particular episode that was playing is from right after the earth quake in Haiti.

It was chaotic, people scavenging for food, things to build shelter out of, people being gunned down in the streets by police men who are supposed to be keeping the peace, buildings on fire, gunshots ringing in the air...I could go on, but I don't think I need to.

I am amazed, simply at the fact that today the biggest news on our minds consists of the latest movie starts outfit at the red carpet or how much money a movie brought in this past weekend, or even the adorable squirrel who surfs on the water! Is this really what we want to know, are we so comfortable that seeing the truth has become obsolete to us?  These two missionaries were right in the thick of it, but I never saw anything like this on ABC, CBS, NBC....where is the truth?  That is why we have to do what God calls us to do, and do it without shame without worry about what others think.

Hebrews 12:1-3

  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We must know that in this world we are strangers and that our true purpose is to bring God glory and show the world the truth of his name sake Jesus Christ.  I know the road seems long and hard, and impossible, but we know that through Christ's strength we are unstoppable.

Be encouraged today in your journey with God and continue to pray for those of us who are out there in the world, bringing the truth to those who are blind.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've called DO IT.

Last night I was sitting in our churches weekly prayer meeting as the worship music started.  I couldn't help myself but to just fall down on my face and weep.  How can so many people in america enter the house of God and not feel his presence? How can so many Christians live life daily knowing what is happening to our brothers and sisters in other countries? Here I am in a nice air-conditioned building where somewhere around the world groups meet in secret under a twinkling black sky to worship, how sweet and wonderful would it be to meet those who worship God under such terms? How faithful their hearts must truly be.

And then I think about my calling, I think about what God has asked me to do and I am fearful.  Thoughts creep into my mind..."What will others say?" "What will your parents think?" "What if they don't agree?" What if? What if? WHAT IF? But then I think: SO WHAT? I want to attend to the bridegroom not the world.

FYI: I am currently reading a book called Let the Nations be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper.(linked to a webpage with A LOT of his sermons with notes and MP3's and get this there are even notes that date back to GASP! 1970!)  I am barely on page 60 and I can feel that my passion for this calling has increased a hundredfold. I am just excited by what God is doing in my life, as I have been fasting he has increased my awareness of His presence and my sensitivity to his heart. This passage really touched me this week:

[Acts 21:13-14]
13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

It just made the calling I have more solid for me and also revealed that I need to be prepared for whatever God has in store for me no matter what and should be glad in doing it. After all the Bible also warns that we will be persecuted and insulted, but we should know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

i am a target, i am not afraid. [Matthew 10:28, Romans 8:35-39], 16" x 20", 2009. (copyright A. Quinn Photography, do not use without permission)

I recently was searching "missionary photography" and "Cambodia" online, I was curious to see if there were others like me that God had lit a fire inside of and I just happened to find this article about Gordon Griffith. A young man about my age who is doing exactly what I want to do, but he has taken it to a level that I have never dreamed.  My heart is encouraged through his images and words in the article. I searched to see if I could find any other information and just happened upon his blog.  Even with only a few entries my heart further burns to do exactly what he is doing. So many factors are coming into play now and I ask God so many questions in this moment: How? When? Am I ready? Do I know enough? Am I strong enough?  That is why until the day God releases me from my current place in life I find that I am craving his word and his still small voice even more than food or entertainment.  He is cleaning me out and I welcome it because it means I am that much closer to doing his will and as my Pastor quoted Jesus last night at prayer meeting I take on these words:

[John 4:34-35]
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

I hope this has encouraged you in some way or at least made you think about the passion you have for your own calling. Also please pray for the work that Gordon Griffith is doing and his fellow missionaries as well.


Monday, January 17, 2011

God Prepares the Called.

Back a few years ago God gave me a vision for my mission in life. I didn't realize it at the time that it was God speaking to me, but I it made such an impact on my that I've kept it inside all this time.

I want to travel, to take pictures and expose life to people who live in their little cookie cutter worlds. What will it take to do that? I'll need a backpack with my camera, a laptop and a journal to document all that I see. I'll have only two pairs of clothing, a toothbrush and paste, my glasses and a pony tail holder to keep my hair out of my face. I'll sleep on rocks and stare at the stars because quite frankly you can see millions of them out here where the nearest sign of an electric light pole is the single lone pole that I saw 300 miles ago as I left a little town made up of two families a goat and three chickens. I'll wear my shoes until the soles are gone and then I'll go barefoot until I find a shoe store in the desert and buy a pair of sandals made from grass and cardboard. The price is only so much but I'll pay them 10 times over because I want to see them smile once for the camera. Then I'll wear these shoes until I come to Southeast Asia in Cambodia where a little girl will gawk at my brand new shoes and I'll give them to her and take pictures as she puts them on and smiles at me just long enough for me to know that there is still hope in her life. I'll walk barefoot again just like my ancestors at one time must have done and I'll feel closer to them than ever before. And as I walk I notice a crowd come my way and the little girl comes from the back grabs my hand and leads me to their house where they've made me their honored guest and prepared food and entertainment by way of singing and playing instruments that I can't pronounce the names of. I'll drink their tea and eat their food and listen to their elders speak even though I have no idea what they say and nod and smile and take more pictures. I'll take pictures with a Polaroid camera though so the ones I take I can give to them and they make a big show of passing them around and then putting them on the walls of their small house. I'll stay the night and in the morning drink tea with them again and then be on my way still barefoot but happier all the same. 
I wrote this a while ago, but after beginning to read this book "Love Mercy" its coming to the forefront even more in my mind. This is what I want to do with my life. Take pictures in other countries and expose the realities of this to the American people, make it to where they can't turn away or ignore it.  I want to make the people in other countries real to kids who's biggest issue in life is if they'll get asked to homecoming. This nation needs a wake up call, and God is calling me to be apart of it.
This is what I want to do with my life.  I want to travel the world and show the nations God's glory.  God is preparing me for this.  I will faithfully go where he calls me and I will be prepared.  He has been preparing me for almost four years now, and as I continue to seek him I find that the time is drawing near when I will go into the world and do as he has called me.

This blog was originally going to be about my journey as an artist, in fact I had already started writing about art shows and things I was doing that related to my art, trivial entries about what camera bag I should buy etc...does any of that actually matter in the grand scheme of things? Is it relevant to God's kingdom?  Recently our church has been called to fast and I am finding that it has allowed me to devote time to God where I thought I had none, and through this God has awakened in me such a passion for his word and to glorify his kingdom.  It just shows me how much more I need his word and wisdom to continually fuel my fire, my desire for Him.

 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.   [Leviticus 6:13]
My prayer if you are reading this is that you seek out God's will for your own gifts and talents, he has called all of us to use them for his glory and not burry them. [Matthew 25:14-30Romans 12:6-8] Do not let anyone make you feel like your gift doesn't matter and don't think that anyone elses gift is better. We are all called to glorify his name and when we keep our eyes on Him, when we keep ourselves focused on His kingdom instead of our own we will reap rewards of greater joy than we can even imagine.

I'm working on getting this blog fixed up, but I think this was a good way to restart it.