Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year: Sweet Persecution.

A message from Brother Andrew.
"Persecution is not the latest buzz word; it's for real.  It happens when either a political or religious system takes away our liberties of Christian witness.  Can it ever be sweet?  Only in the victorious lives of those who choose to pay the price-beginning with Stephen."
                                                          -Brother Andrew

Another year is coming to an end.  2012 was pretty amazing and as I look back I am reminded of everything that the Lord made happened.

1. I was able to create a new body of work for God when I was asked to be apart of the UNDERGROUND art show.  God showed me a new level of creating art, to bring light to scripture and to show others His glory.

2. I became a homeowner.

3. I went on my first missions trip, doing outreach for churches.

4. I participated in and won the ONE BODY, MANY GIFTS contest by Open Doors USA.

5. I was able to photograph the iGo AweStar Missions conference and meet Pastor Mony from Cambodia.

These things are just a handful of the blessings God has given me.  I want to remember them and never feel ungrateful or unappreciative to the goodness of my God.  I also never want to think that I did these things on my own strength or by my own will, but by His grace and his perfect plan for His glory.
[Romans 11:36]
"For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."
On this day after Christmas I also remember my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I think about those whom, on Christmas day, were not allowed to celebrate openly their love and adoration for our Jesus who came down to earth.  I remember those who pray on bended knee about the true reason for the season, and I remember those who celebrate Christ's coming without a tree or presents, but IN HIS PRESENCE.  I think how foolish we must seem to those who only need God on what should be one of the most reverent days of the year.  This quote sums it up for me:

"Santa Claus fits the theology of the world. He can drink with you at parties and he can cater to your selfish desires.  The Christ child calls us to worship; something bigger than we can understand is happening here." -Nathan Johnson

Now don't get me wrong, I did celebrate with my family.  We ate together and exchanged gifts, but I fear that for many the main reason has been lost amongst the heap of wrapping paper waiting to be thrown out after the excitement of presents has dissipated.  I pray for my own self that as this year comes to a close I keep Christ at the forefront and my eyes upon his eternal glory.

For the new year I will be starting this devotional called Sweet Persecution: A 30-Day Devotional With Reflections From the Persecuted Church. (click the link to find it on amazon) The book is under three dollars and if you want they even have a Kindle edition for 2.99. Will you join me as the new year begins? Will you focus our thoughts and prayers not on yourself or a new years resolution, but let us, you and I, be resolute to put God first and pray for those brothers and sisters who suffer persecution for the name of our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.
[Acts 5:41]
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
-A.

Prayer Requests:

1.  Still working on getting a passport and deciding where I should go for my visit with persecuted Christians.  Please pray for guidance.

2. Pray that our brothers and sisters and Christ would rejoice in their suffering and know that they are not alone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FOUNDATIONS. (iGo Missions Conference Photographs)

Here we are, finally finished and posted the iGo Conference pictures that I took back in November.  You can check all of them out on my facebook page, but here are few just for you.



Dr. Heng Lim is the author of My Journey to  Paradise, it tells of his story of escaping the Cambodian killing fields.  I haven't started reading it yet, but seeing how passionate he is for the Lord I really can't wait.


Praying for my sweet Cambodia.
I think my favorite part of this conference is praying for the different countries by gathering around their flags.  Some flags only have a few, but the number is growing each year.  I am in awe of what God is doing through AweStar missions.  Although my heart longs to step foot in Cambodia, seeing so many surround the flag and pray, I know that God is still doing great things ahead of me by planting seeds and laying the foundation of what is yet to come.

"For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building.  By the grace God has given me, I laid foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

-A.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FINALITY.

[Psalm 73] (read the whole things, its intense)
v. 25-26 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
I finished my second digital photography course, I learned a lot.  Here is one of my final pieces.

reminds me of Psalm 73.
©Abandoned Heart:Art & Photography
DO NOT use without consent. Violators will be prosecuted.

-A.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Unusual Ones

"You know, Alex, your gifting's are pretty unusual."

Conversations at midnight bring some of the most interesting and insightful perspectives.

I read a quote recently that ended with the phrase: Struggle well. I feel as of lately I have been struggling with some things in my life and wondering where this path that God has me on is leading.  I've known for a very long time that I wanted to do missions work, but what kind of missions long term or short term and how to get there has been very unclear and it has been my place to wait upon the Lord to reveal these things. (I also find that its best not to act out of confusion or fear of uncertainty/not wanting to miss out etc...)

Have you seen Lincoln yet? It is a very insightful movie, although I missed the last few minutes because of a rat, there was a moment when the President asks two young men "Are we fitted to the times we are born into?" This is the time when God chose for us to live and he created us, our gifts for such a time as this.

"Did God call you specifically to long term missions?"

When the question was asked...I honestly could not say yes. I struggled...is it that I am not called for long term missions or is my heart not willing? Am I afraid? No...I know that I have been called to go, and I am willing but right now in my life I only see a small portion of the picture. What God is orchestrating right now I cannot see, but I trust in Him and his perfect timing.

T-shirt designer, photographer, painter, graphic designer, poet...these gifts don't necessarily fit into any typical ministry of a church.  This is has been a struggle for me as well, not knowing where I fit in at the church because of the talents God has given however today a woman from a missionary training organization spoke to my friend and I, and she said something that reaffirmed what God was trying to speak to me "Doesn't matter where you go, your gifts go with you."  She began speaking exactly what my friend and I had discussed last night in early morning hours of how if we had been born at any other time in history our gifts would have been obsolete.  There is purpose in us being here now, we these gifts and there is a purpose for you too.  Whatever your gifting may be, use it for the advancement of the kingdom and fulfill the purpose that God called us to: go out and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"What do you see yourself doing?"

Advocacy. My desire is to show the world, and Christians what it means to suffer for the name of Christ. I want to bring back stories and photographs and make the orphan in Haiti real to those who live behind the white picket fence of the American dream.  My desire is that God would take these talents and refine them into instruments that share his burden for souls and awaken sleepers to the truth of persecution of our brothers and sisters. God break my heart for what breaks yours and teach me, show me, guide me instruct me in the ways in which I can pierce the heart man that our people may be awaken once again and stand for righteousness.

So I am unusual, but as I look through the Bible and read the history, I see that many of my heroes were also unusual and did not do things normally.

I leave you with this truth:

[Philippians 3:7-8]

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ..."

-A.

Prayer Requests:

1. November Missions month has ended, but that doesn't mean that we as the church should not continue to be missions minded.  Please continue to pray for our missionary brothers and sisters who go where God has called them to go, that they would have the support from the body of Christ that they need, and that God would continually surround them with protection and blessings, that doors would be open to them because of their willingness and faithfulness to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2012

Today is a very special day, a day when we as Christians stand up with our brothers and sisters who are persecuted and suffer for the name of Christ.  Today we take time to remember them and pray for them that they may persevere in their faith. On average 150,000 Christians who try to spread the gospel in communist or islamic countries are killed each year. What will you do with this information?

Today the Pastor at my church shared this poem:

TRAVELING ON MY KNEES

Last night I took a journey
To a land across the seas.
I didn't go by ship or plane
I traveled on my knees.

I saw so many people there
In bondage to their sin,
And Jesus told me I should go, 
That there were souls to win.

But I said "Jesus, I can't go
To lands across the seas."
He answered quickly, "Yes, you can
By traveling on your knees."

He said, "You pray, I'll meet the need.
You call, and I will hear.
It's up to you to be concerned
For lost souls far and near."

And so I did; knelt in prayer,
Gave up some hours of ease,
And with the Savior by my side,
I traveled on my knees.

As I prayed on, I saw souls saved
And twisted persons healed,
I saw God's workers strength renewed
While laboring in the field.

I said, "Yes Lord, I'll take the job.
Your heart I want to please.
I'll heed Your call and swiftly go
By traveling on my knees."

By: Sandra Goodwin

What a sweet reminder that though many of us might not travel to other lands, we can still help by praying.  

As I prepare to go wherever the Lord calls me I think about my fellow brothers and sisters.  I think about Paul and how even in his imprisonment God used his chains to advance the gospel:

[Philippians 1:12-26]
"Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear....."
As an American I have never faced the situation where someone says to me: Deny Christ or die.  I pray that God would prepare my heart should such a day come here, when our beliefs are deemed unconstitutional and our Pastors are ripped from their pulpits.  I was told of an underground church in which everyone was to be prepared to preach because there would be times when their pastor was taken away and the next person was expected to step in and preach the Word of God.  

I don't know where God is going to send me through this contest, but I know that he will guide me and show me exactly what needs to be done for his kingdom.  Pray for your brothers and sisters we must stand with them, show them that we are one with them.

-A. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Updates: iliveindallas, iGo Missions Conference, One Body-Many Gifts Contest

     It seems like everything is happening so fast recently!  I cannot believe everything that God is doing, it seems almost like a dream...but then I wake up and it is real! So here is the recap of my past two weeks.

Thursday November 1st: iliveindallas
     I was asked to attend a benefit art show(go here to read an article about it) to help raise money for the kids workshops that ArtLoveMagic does every month.  So I went and had a great time, made a new piece of art based on Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." I also met some pretty neat guys from Mission'd an organization that helps raise money for missionaries through clothing apparel. They saw that I was on biblegateway.com and made their way over. I might be invited out to their fashion show in April so that was pretty exciting to see how the Lord is using other forms of creativity to help his people.

Fri., Sat., Sun. November 2nd-4th: iGo Missions Conference
     I was even more excited about getting to reconnect with my friends at AweStar Ministries!  I attended iGo the previous year and hear stories of hope from many missionaries including from Dr. Heng Lim who is originally from Cambodia. This year I was blessed even more when I gained the opportunity to meet with new speakers including Pastor Mony who made the long journey from Cambodia to be at iGo. During the breakout sessions Dr. Lim would translate for us, although we did learn a few words in Khmer. Pastor Mony has such a heart for the people of Cambodia, oh to live with such passion for a hurting people! He was such a delight to be around even though I could not speak his language we were able to speak a little at the end of the second day thanks to Dr. Lim's nephew Richard. He told me that one thing he has noticed about America is the amount of food everyone has, when he sits to eat a meal there is so much and he thinks of the 12 churches he pastors and is reminded of them and how little they have. I know that someday I will meet with Pastor Mony in Cambodia and we will work side by side to bring glory to God's kingdom.

Pastor Mony in one of the main sessions.

     I also had a chance to meet Brad Guice who is a well known photographer whom the Lord has used to capture many images in the missions field. His testimony was very touching and encouraged me in my desire to use photography in the field.
     The one thing that God really spoke to me at the conference was this "A burden gives direction, without a burden there is emptiness." I know where my burden is, but I feel as if I have not been taking things seriously and now I know that I cannot waste my time and effort on frivolous things.  I must spend myself for my Lord.

Saturday November 10th: One Body Many Gifts Contest Winners announced...
     I won! (check out the winners here) I can't believe it!  God has blessed me beyond measure and I feel so unworthy, I have done nothing to deserve this.  I really am thankful that God saw fit to create a contest like this, I know that through this many more people will come to use their gifts of art, creativity, music, poetry all for his glory.  I hope that you who are reading this find encouragement to use all your gifts and talents for the Lord, because he is the one that gave you that gift that you may use it for his kingdom.  Do squander it, don't hide it, but rejoice that he entrusted it to you. Oh how loving is our Father! The grand prize is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a top secret trip to meet with real persecuted Christians, I have only been contacted once yesterday to make sure I met with all the requirements so I'm not sure what happens next, where I will go or when, but I know that God has it under control and I leave it in his hands.  Also a HUGE thank you to all who helped me by sharing this with others and voting. I had help come from some of the most unlikely friends and I am very grateful!

So much has happened in so little time, what will God do next I wonder? I shall wait in His presence and see.

[Job 5:9]
"He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted."

-A.

Prayer Requests:

1. Pray for my friend as she begins the process of changing her T-Visa to a green card so that it will go smoothly and without stress and that she would have financial provision. (it is not cheap)
2. Pray for my missionary friend Gordon Griffith after being in Thailand for two years the Lord is calling him in a new direction. Pray that he would hear and listen to Gods plans for him in this new chapter.
3. Hurricane Sandy has brought much heartache, but also opportunity for Christians to take the lead and show the love of Christ.  Brad Guice is located in New Jersey where there is much devastation, pray that the Lord would help them to bring many the gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. Pray that I find some good materials on the Khmer language, after doing some research I've found that their are no classes around this area. The next time I meet Pastor Mony I'd like to be able to speak to him without a translator. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OVERWHELMED

Overwhelmed.

This is how I feel right now.

This ONE WITH THEM contest has just shown me how amazing God is and how quickly and flawlessly the body of Christ can come together and support one of its members.

I first heard about Open Doors International when I read God's Smuggler the story of Brother Andrew I was completely in awe of God and his provision and comfort in times of struggle and worry. His many stories of smuggling the Bible across borders were an encouragement to my heart, these were the things I longed to hear of Gods kingdom and the workers who were doing what God had called them to do.

It was almost a year ago when I found myself fairly secluded and my desires to please the Lord through missions kept growing. One of my favorite scriptures, which I've said many times, had become Acts 21:13 where Paul declares: "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." My own heart was longing to go, but I knew that God had to be the one to provide a way and that it had to be in His perfect timing. During this time, my best friend had ventured to Colorado for a ministry training opportunity and so this was the perfect time for God to start working on my heart even more deeply than before, who else could I share my deepest thoughts with, but Him?

I began a year long study in the book of Acts and I felt like Paul. He was longing to travel back to Rome, but he knew that it would be as the Lord willed and he did not know how it would happen.  This is how I feel about missions, in my own life Cambodia is at the forefront of my mind and I know that someday I will get there. I just have no idea how or when this is going to happen, but my God is faithful and I trust him.

Reading about the first missionaries, about Paul, learning about Gladys Aylward and others, what they went through and what others are still going through so impacted me that God allowed me to use my gift of art to express these things which could not so easily be put into words.

Naturally, when I saw the email about the ONE BODY-MANY GIFTS contest I was completely caught off guard.  Has there ever been such a thing? Is this the point where God opens a door? I contemplated for a long time, I prayed and I made sure that this was what God wanted.  And then I entered.

The support that I received is so immense that I still can hardly believe what is happening.  I think that because I have had my art in shows before, but never has it been accepted and support so much.  Again I say I am thankful that the body of Christ can come together and support and give encouragement to one of its members.

To conclude, whether I win or not I will rejoice with the body for we are all connected by Jesus Christ. I am so thankful and so blessed I can't even express it.

-A.


My entry into the contest, one large image of the whole piece with some detail shots.



Monday, September 24, 2012

One With Them

We are ONE WITH THEM.

I've had this amazing opportunity to enter a contest for Open Doors International.  This organization helps Christians all around the world who are suffering persecution.  If you could take a moment an click the link, please read my description of the work and decide if you would like to vote for it or not.  If not please choose one and vote, no matter who wins it is still amazing to see people using their art for the Lord.

Lament for the Nations

Many blessings to you.

-A.

Video for the contest: One Body-Many Gifts


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Battles are waged, but the War is Won.

I can't tell you how many days and nights were spent, pouring myself out onto canvas for my God.  I don't think that I've ever done work like this ever.  It's amazing for me to look back at the work that I have done from my Untitled Polaroids which I was SO proud of(but had nothing to do with my Lord), to the Below series which I thought had a purpose(which they did, but lacked the anointing of God), to the Journey series which spoke of how God brought me back to himself(but was still about me and myself) to this series here in which each piece was made to show only who God is and his love for the people of this world.  What words can describe this experience but that I seek only to please my King and Savior and to let His Name be glorified.

"He must become greater, I must become less."




The pictures above are from the Underground Preview night held on January 27th.  Three of my pieces made it into the gallery showing.  My family came out to support me on this night, since it was free and there wouldn't be as much chaos AND my Grandpa came which was a miracle!  I even got to plant a little seed as I explained the flower piece to him.  I know that God is faithful to reach many including my family.


The day of the show, my best friend Mariam and I arrived at South Side on Lamar at around 2:30.  We worked really hard at getting my "booth" set up and laid out just right.  I was able to get a darker spot because of my artworks use of light.  It was the perfect place under one of the walkways. As 7:00 came around VIP ticket holders were about to come in the door.  I was definitely feeling nervous, but God was keeping me calm I know.  I really didn't know what to expect from this night I was really putting it all in God's hands.

The first person to come up as I was painting asked about my piece with Romans 6, I believe the words that came out of my mouth went something like this "Bascially all the text you see is scripture, this is Romans 6 and it says that the wages of sin is death and that God sent Jesus Christ to give us eternal life" the guy then asked me "what have you been through in life" and I told him that through depression and a bad relationship I had put a boy in place of my God and God had to come in and change me and now I am living for Him and him alone.

Never had I had such a bold word come out of my mouth and to a complete stranger! The Lord truly is amazing because I know those words did not flow out of my own accord but by his Holy Spirit.

Mariam was really a great help, she talked to so many people explaining my work better than I could I think and was even able to ask a few people if they needed prayer.  I had a few bibles with us and so we passed them out to a few people.  One guy in particular actually asked if we were involved in a church so we gave a bible to him as well.  So many people came, so many broken hearts and lives, so many in sin, so many wandering lost.  I have to keep reminding myself that each and every one of them has a place in God's kingdom. 


"...so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it."

~


This is the piece that I worked on during the show.  Using these scriptures: 


"Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."


"When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."

As many people walked by I was able to share this with them, they would ask me about my work.  I would share the basis of it being that the Word of God is illuminated by the Holy Spirit.  I used all scripture for my art and each canvas is lit from behind.  For the piece I was working on during the show I was able to point to the human condition that without Christ we can look beautiful and fine on the outside, but when the Holy Spirit shines a light in our lives it reveals the sin and demons hiding underneath our exterior.  It was really easy to talk about Christ in this way, having people ask questions and being able to have an open conversation about the Word of God was phenomenal.  So many people stopped by I can't even keep track of them all.


Voiceless Glory. [pic credit Mariam]
Voiceless Glory behind all of my painting supplies.


My mixing palette. [pic credit Mariam] 


The top layer
"He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light."

"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes."

"...He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart..."


whats hidden underneath will always be revealed
by God's Holy Spirit.
I am so unworthy to have God trust me with this artistic talent, but I will do whatever he asks me to do. To God be the glory for all of the seeds planted on this night, let his name be exalted and my own fade away.  My reward is in His Name.


"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."

-A.




Friday, February 10, 2012

Moment of Truth.

And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
[1 John 3:19-23]
Tomorrow is the big day.  The moment of truth.  When everything that I have working so hard toward comes to its climax. Underground 4.  There seems to be a lot to do yet still, but I know that in my God I find my rest, he is "the strength of my heart and my portion forever." [Psalm 73:26] Throughout this entire process he has been there, guiding me and leading me to what needs to be done.  To Him again I surrender this show, I surrender my human desires to please man, to promote myself, I surrender my talents and seek only to please and obey my God alone.[Galatians 1:10]  May my work and tomorrows art show be unto his glory.

It is my desire that my attitude during the show be one like this: that if one person meets Jesus through my artwork that will be a great success in the kingdom of heaven. If only one seed is planted I will have done the task the Lord has set before me and it will be enough.  If I sell nothing then I will rejoice because my God used me to create art for His kingdom.

And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long. 
[Psalm 35:28]

Recap will follow soon!

A.

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that God would be glorified at the show tomorrow and that nothing will go awry.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Uncharted Territory.

Underground 4.

This is an art show that will be held February 11th, 2012.

Back in December of 2011 I was invited by one of my friends David who is one of the co-founders of ArtLoveMagic(an organization who works with artists to give them a place to showcase their work).  Initially I was hesitant to say the least. Underground could possibly be the biggest show of my art career to date and is the single largest show ALM does all year.  Underground 2011 pulled in about 1,200 people within a four hour period of time, and this year it looks to be just as big.

My initial hesitation was that of wanting to do as the Lord wished.  I have previously jumped into a show before seeking the guidance of the Lord and so I wanted to make sure that this was something that I needed to do and if it was, that it would be surrendered unto Him.  But doubt began to creep into my mind.  Questions arose:

"Do I have anything to offer to the show?"  I did not have any recent work readily available to showcase and had not been inspired in anyway to do something new.  "Could I even make something in time?"  The show was in two months what kind of body of work could I create for something that extensive. "Do I even have the talent to stand up with artists of this caliber?"  But I knew better and God knew better.

He prodded me.  "Do you think that I can't do it?" he asked.  Yes. Of course you can God.  I just had to wait on him, test my motives at all times so that I would not see this as promoting myself, but that it would be exalting my God.  The creation praising and worshiping the Creator.  I wanted to make sure that whatever God had planned for this art that it would show His character.

As artists it is so easy for us get caught up in wanting attention, to promote ourselves and our work.  But we must realize that as Christians our identity is not in our talents, not in our work, not in how much money we make or how many people we can get to make comment about us. No. Our identity is found IN CHRIST. Let us not get caught up in the talent/the art that can so easily become idols in our lives. [Romans 1:25]  Let us not seek the approval of men or human exaltation, but let us run after our God and live to please only him as we are servants and slaves to Christ Jesus the Living Water. [Galatians 1:10] I have to continually remind myself that after all is said and done, when I go on up to glory my King will not ask me how many paintings I sold or how many photographs were displayed in a museum but he will take account of every moment, of every good work and see if I loved Him and spent myself for him and obeyed him all of my days.

And so through these several months I have been praying and asking God to give vision and He did.



Two songs of inspiration as God and I worked together on the artwork.


I dropped off four paintings yesterday.  I'm not sure if they will all make it into the gallery showing, I'm not sure if anyone will like it or accept it as art or if they will write it off or belittle it because of its message, I am not sure of anything. But I do know that I was obedient to my Lord, and he is faithful.

This year I've been going to a weekly bible study class BSF and we are studying the book of Acts.  Discussing the early church and the travels of Paul is so encouraging.  At one point the question was asked: "Do you think that God can use you in places of darkness?"  This really hit me hard, how often as Christians do we shy away from places because of their darkness?  I know that it is wise to not let oneself be vulnerable, but I think of missionaries and martyrs that have gone before me and I see their light, the only light shining in the darkest of dark places.  And so as I go to the art show I will keep in mind that I am there representing my God and my Savior and shining light where very few Christians, let alone artists, dare to go.


Final thought: One way that God really put a burden on my heart for this art show was he had me begin reading in Lamentations. If you haven't read Lamentations I encourage you to do so. Much of the art I created actually has Lamentations 2 written in/on it. My heart weeps for the nations and souls of those away from God and I pray that with God as my teacher/mentor my art would bring people to know him.


A.

P.S. A sneak peek of my the artwork. <3






Prayer Requests:

1. Pray that eyes and hearts will be open at the show.  That people would have ears to hear, and eyes to see God's character and love.