Monday, September 1, 2014

Prayer for Ireland

For Ireland and Northern Ireland:

The curse that has been upon this land is broken. The curse that says, “I must seek vengeance for myself, I must hold everyone accountable for the wrong that has been done to me” is finished. The ability and grace to forgive is the blessing of this land and it is increasing by God's hand. God says, “Vengeance is mine. Do not seek to destroy or to repay evil for evil. Seek me. I will act on your behalf. I will redeem your suffering and restore you to priesthood, to sonship. You are my sons and daughters, no longer orphans or aliens in a strange land.”

The land no longer cries out for justice, for Justice has come. The land cries out in praise to the Creator of all. The rocks rejoice in who God is! And the people join in the song. Ireland is a triumphant story. The Irish rule the world, their influence can be seen in just about every nation. Saint Patrick's legacy is not forgotten. Patrick, of Wales, slave and missionary, transformed a nation; introduced them to Jesus and his love for them. He forgave his captors. He loved and gave and taught and showed who God is to a people who once enslaved him. His legacy of forgiveness and unconditional love and discipleship of a nation is not forgotten. In fact, it has only just begun.

From one tiny island, so much greatness has been born. The tenacity and strength to overcome oppression, poverty, difficulty, and slavery is in the very DNA of the Irish people. Throughout history they have survived many atrocities whether at the hands of other people groups or their own. They have survived famine, oppression, poverty, hopelessness, disease, and have come through stronger than ever.

God is restoring hope to his people. He is releasing a greater ability to forgive and to live out of His love. He does not turn a blind eye to the suffering that has occurred (or is still occurring). He redeems the pain of his people for glory and their gain. He extinguishes the flaming arrows of the enemy and calls out, “NO MORE! ENOUGH! I have set my people free. Free from anger and resentment. Free from vengeance and hatred. Free from prejudice and oppression. Free to live! No longer to survive but to thrive like never before. Ireland has brought great ingenuity and creativity to the world. And it is only the beginning. From this island, I bring forth brilliant scientists and inventors, amazing and creative artists, leaders in government and business, farmers whose knowledge and experience will end famines. I am releasing even greater creativity to my people. Economic growth, yes, but more importantly, Kingdom growth!”

Friday, January 31, 2014

Art Interpretation: A Walk in the Park

On December 13, 2013 I participated in my first official art show.  It was a lot of fun and a great experience.  So many "God winks" throughout the entire thing.
  • God wink #1:  The art show occurred on one of my favorite days of the year: Friday the 13th.
  • God wink #2:  It gave me a deadline to get prints made of some of my paintings which I had been thinking about doing for quite a while but kept putting off.
  • God wink #3:  It was wonderful to talk with other artists and receive so much positive feedback about my artwork.
  • God wink #4:  I only took a few hours off from work so I was only able to be there during the early afternoon.  It ended up being the perfect amount of time.
  • God wink #5:  I painted while I was there.  I started out by coating my canvas with water.  I was painting on a fairly inexpensive canvas and it was reacting as if it was waterproof so that actually was making it difficult to paint on.  I started with bright colors that I used like watercolors, then I started another layer with the same colors but a lot more grey.  It started to look too dark and somewhat somber so I quit with the grey.  I decided to start over because I didn't care for what I had painted so far.  At this point I was getting frustrated so as I painted white over the whole canvas I purged my frustration and negative emotions.  After all of that I decided to switch to the palette knife.  And I love the finished product!  
  • God wink #6:  As I was getting ready to leave because I needed to grab lunch quickly and head back to work, an artist came in with his family.  He had a lot of questions about the Salon (the space we were in) and the event.  I answered what I could and was relieved when I was able to introduce him to my sister who had organized the event because she knew more about the venue than I did.  He asked me why I paint and what inspires me.  And right before I left he gave me a very encouraging word about my art.  He said he could tell that something was changing in me and that I was on the verge of a whole new level.  (This was so cool because I have received many similar prophetic words at church from many different people in recent months).
  • God wink #7:  I didn't sell anything.  But I have since.  I've sold a few prints (which I wouldn't have if I hadn't had the deadline) and an original painting.  The experience was about so many other things and the sales were not what mattered.  I am so very glad that I participated.
So the painting that I did at the event is titled, "A Walk in the Park".  It makes me think of Central Park in the autumn.  The blues and greens representing water and grass.  The oranges and reds the trees lit on fire with their autumn foliage.  And the black and white being the buildings and skyscrapers surrounding the park. Every time I study it I see new things and I'm sure I'll have two or three interpretations over time but this is the first word that I wrote about it:

I admire the people who can relax through the events of each and every day.  Those who remain calm when everyone else around them is losing their heads.  Those who can look at a problem from an objective perspective and bring about a solution, long before the fire.  They prevent problems from occurring instead of running around putting out fires.  Some are even energized by the challenges that stress the rest of us out.
But isn't that how life should be?  Especially our life in Christ.  Instead of praying our problems from a position of defeat, we should prophesy solutions from our redeemed position.  We have the victory even if it doesn't look like it yet.  We have the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  We have peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).  We have the joy of the Lord as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that life will always be peachy and perfect.  Even Jesus said we would have troubles in this world.  But He didn't stop there.  He said, "Take heart!  I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)
With God as our focus we can accomplish anything.  Because when our eyes are set on Him, the mountains we are facing shrink in comparison.  Problems go from a grueling trek up Everest to a walk in the park.  Life may not always be rosy, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).